Here’s a brilliant graphic from Information is Beautiful. He’s British and says that he’s very pale (if he’s anything like me, if he was any whiter he would be blue) so he set out to find out how much sunscreen one actually needs:
It appears that the above described protocols for SPF and UVA protection that are in place in the EU have not been adopted by the US FDA.
Also, when you’re shopping for SPF, make sure you don’t accidentally pick up spray polyurethane foam – although come to think of it, that would probably make a pretty good sunblock.
It’s all too confusing. The way I figure it, you can be like me and just avoid the Sun at all costs…or totally commit and decide to look like this: