Which SPF should I use?

Summer is here, which means more time for fun in the sun. With increasing concerns of the sun’s impact on the skin, people are taking more precaution and are making sure that they protect themselves. Although sunscreen is something that everyone is familiar with, very few people know which sun protection factor (SPF) they should be wearing.

The higher the better, right? Contrary to popular belief, a higher SPF doesn’t necessarily mean better protection.

SPF is a measurement of protection against UVB (ultra-violet B) rays. UVB rays are the cause of sun burns. The real concern is the UVA (ultra-violet A) rays. UVA rays are more important to protect yourself from due to the fact that they penetrate into deeper layers of the skin and have been linked to the cause of skin cancer.

spf lotions bag

So that means SPF 30 is two times better than SPF 15, right? Not at all. Calculating SPF isn’t consumer friendly. So how much protection do the different SPFs provide?

  • SPF 15 protects against 94% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 protects against 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 45 protects against 98% of UVB rays

Beyond that, the increase in protection starts to become negligible.

The most important thing to remember about sunscreen is to re-apply when recommended, and when possible use one that is water-resistant. Next time, we’ll talk about which ingredients you should look for in your sunscreen for the best protection against UVA and UVB rays.

written by our guest

Natasha Vadori

Photo {source}


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