A Guide to SPFs, From 4 to 233

Honestly, is 100+ really necessary?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, thousands of people flock to a bathing beach to cool themselves in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, on Saturday Aug. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Xizeng)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The development of SPF 100+ sunscreen has led to confusion for some consumers—or at least that's Zev Borow's excuse for a tongue-in-cheek guide to the wide world of sun protection, in the New Yorker:

  • SPF 4: “You’re joking, right? This is some kind of joke? 4? We make this stuff for armadillos.”
  • SPF 12: “Bonus: Comes with an ‘I AM, OR ONE DAY WILL BE, A DANGEROUSLY NEGLECTFUL PARENT’ visor.”

  • SPF 100: “This is to SPF 99 and below as excellent heroin is to Capri Sun juice boxes.”
  • SPF 125: “Remember the first time you were allowed into an airport first-class lounge? Or experienced oral sex? Add using SPF 125 sunscreen to the list of experiences that you will never forget.”
  • SPF 150: “Actually repels the fear and anxiety and vulnerability and paralyzing paralysis that affects so many of us each and every time we walk outside during daylight hours.” 
  • SPF 175: “Ever wanted to have unprotected sex with a prostitute in Haiti? Don’t answer. Doesn’t matter. The point is with SPF 175 that’s now an option.”
  • SPF 233: “Is not inexpensive. But, in the war against the evil that is the sun, can you put a price on freedom?”