So —- Let’s talk skin care. Specifically, SPF. There’s been quite a bit of confusion around the great SPF debate. What is SPF? What do the numbers mean? Is there really a ceiling on effective numbers of SPF? These are some really good questions, and living in the south where it’s always hot and sunny, I’d love to know the answers!
I did some digging, and here’s what I found: SPF is the Sun Protection Factor that a product contains. When you buy a bottle of sunscreen or lotion, it usually says SPF factor, and then a number. The number is the SPF of the product, and indicates the products effectiveness in preventing your skin from sun damage. The sun produces UVA and UVB rays that will not only burn your skin, but will cause your skin to age much quicker than it should, and can also cause skin cancer.
So, how do we know what SPF is best? According to skincancer.org, a product with an SPF of 15 blocks 93% of harmful rays, while an SPF of 30 blocks 97%. Increasing to SPF of 50 only increases this percent to 98. For the most effective sun coverage, doctors recommend you use an SPF no lower than 30, and no higher than 50.
For sunscreens, It is also recommended that you use a product that contains; zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone, to help block UVA rays from the sun. Sunscreens that contain UVA and UVB blocking ingredients are usually labelled as broad spectrum.
FYI: You can still get an awesome tan while wearing sunscreen! Sunscreen simply protects your skin from burns, wrinkles, sun spots, other signs of aging, and cancer.
Sounds easy enough! Make sure you always wear sunscreen when you go out in the sun, and make sure it’s a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF factor between 30 and 50. Just don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen!!! Reapply every 2 hours or sooner if you’ve been sweating or swimming. Check the back of the bottle for more information on reapplying.
Click here for more info on SPF!