SPF creep
n. The gradual increase in sun protection factor (SPF) numbers in sunscreens and some cosmetic products.

Example Citations:
SPF 50. SPF 70. Even SPF 100! Whatever happened to good ol' SPF 30? Clinique has new SPF 50 Face Cream. Dermaglow offers 70 SPF Cream. And Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 100 was introduced to the US market this season. What's up with the new crop of through-the-roof-SPF sunscreens?

Is SPF creep about advanced protection...or advanced hype?
—Yuki Hayashi, "Mega sunscreens," Elle Canada, July 10, 2009

Meantime, the SPF creep continues. Health Canada tells us it has approved a sunscreen with an SPF as high as 110.

Even higher SPFs may eventually hit the market. In the United States, sunscreens with SPFs over 100 are already on store shelves.
—Erica Johnson, "The ABCs of SPF," CBC, June 5, 2009

Earliest Citation:
This sun season, Banana Boat is retaliating with a pair of SPF 85 sprays, which it trumpets on its Web site as "our highest SPF level in a continuous spray formula."

But now, SPF creep has hit the triple digits with Neutrogena's SPF 100+ sunblock, leading some dermatologists to complain that this is merely a numbers game that confuses consumers.
—Catherine Saint Louis, "Confused by SPF? Take a Number," The New York Times, May 13, 2009

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