It is logical to assume that products with SPF 30 would work twice as well as those with SPF 15. That is why so many concerned consumers go in search of the highest SPF ratings they can possibly find. While there are benefits that come with SPF 45+ products, they are less significant than you may realize. Before you pay a lot for skin protection you don’t need, check out the facts below.
How SPF Works
SPF stands for sun protection factor, which is a measure of how well sunscreen protects your skin from harmful sun rays. SPF only measures a product’s effectiveness over UVB rays, not UVA rays that cause deeper damage to the skin. The number in the SPF does not indicate anything that you as a consumer might recognize, like 45% protection or 30 minute protection. It is just a rating, similar to a credit score. The difference between a 580 credit score and a 640 credit score is more significant than the difference between a 680 and a 720, even if they seem the same. SPF acts in the same way.
The Truth about SPF Numbers
A product with SPF 15 blocks out about 94% of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays, and SPF 45 blocks 98% of rays. You may pay twice as much for an SPF 45+ product to get minimally more protection (if any). Additionally, the higher SPF sunscreens are often much heavier on your skin which can cause irritation, inflammation and breakouts. We recommend products with SPF 30-35, like our SPF 35 Sunscreen. This should provide you with all of the protection you need to enjoy time in the sun while still allowing your skin to breathe.
Tips for Proper Sunscreen Usage
To get the most out of your sunscreen, make sure you apply it a half hour before going outside. This allows the chemicals to soak into the skin so they can create an effective barrier on the surface. Avoid going into the pool right after putting on the sunscreen, in case the water washes away part of the lotion. If you are outdoors for extended periods of time, it is strongly recommended to reapply your sunscreen every two hours since sweating and water will gradually decrease the protection. Also remember to wear your sunscreen in the winter, as sun beams can bounce off snow and still damage your skin. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll have great looking skin throughout the year.