SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. As the name suggests, the SPF lets you know how long it will take for the skin to burn when exposed to the sun. This is relative to your unprotected skin. Let’s look at an example …
How long does SPF 30 last? If your skin burns after 10 to 20 minutes of sun exposure, applying SPF 30 will protect you for 30 times longer – around 5 to 10 hours.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 for everyday activities and 30 or higher for outdoor activities or when the sun is strongest.
“Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent.”The Skin Cancer Foundation
Look Younger for Longer
While you probably don’t need an added incentive, blocking the harmful rays of the sun also keeps your skin looking younger for longer.
Many of the changes in your skin associated with ageing are actually due to prolonged exposure to the sun. Protecting your skin from UV rays from a young age can help ward off the appearance of lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, broken capillaries or red blotches.
Furthermore, some common anti-ageing ingredients in skincare, as well as some medications, increase photosensitivity. That means your skin’s defences against UV rays are lowered. If you don’t want wrinkles, and you certainly don’t want skin cancer, the correct application of a product with safe SPF levels is an absolute must in your daily skincare routine.
Common Myths About Safe SPF
Myth: I can just apply SPF 50+ once a day
Fact: Many people are under the false belief that a higher SPF, such as 50, is a safer choice. SPF isn’t linear in its level of protection, with SPF 50+ only offering a marginally better level of protection than SPF 30.
- SPF 50+ filters out 98% of UVB radiation
- SPF 30 filters out 96.7% of UVB radiation
No matter what level of SPF you choose, correct application is essential. Any sunscreen product needs to be applied 15-20 minutes prior to going out in the sun and re-applied every couple of hours, particularly after sweating from heat exposure or exercise, or water activities.
UV Rays Ageing Wrinkles
Myth: You only need to worry about UVB rays
Fact: While UVB rays are responsible for producing sunburn, UVA rays penetrate more deeply into the skin and play a greater role in skin ageing and wrinkle formation. They are also proven to contribute to sunburn and cancer.
Developed in Japan, the Protection Grade of UVA (PA) system is meant to inform users of the level of protection from UVA rays.
- PA+ provides some protection
- PA++ provides moderate protection
- PA+++ offers the best protection of the three
Safe SPF Application Tips
Safe SPF Application
Now to the question at hand: how to apply sunscreen for maximum protection.
You need to apply a liberal amount of sunscreen 15-20 minutes before sun exposure. Applying it before you get dressed means that if you take off a top or your singlet strap slips, you’ll still be protected. As a bonus, this helps ward off any unsightly tan lines.
Then remember that you need to re-apply your sunscreen every couple of hours. You should also re-apply after swimming or drying off with a towel. Don’t miss those easy-to-forget places like behind your ears, the backs of your knees and the tops of your feet.
Sunscreen can offer great protection for everyone, with many different options now available for sensitive skin (keep reading to find out the incredible product that’s suitable for all skin types and concerns, even sensitive). But do consult your doctor before using on an infant under 6 months old.
Stay Sun Safe
The bottom line: SPF 30 or 50 sunscreen is great, but there are other things you can do to help keep your skin safe from the sun.
Between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm, the UV rays tend to be highest, so stay out of the sun and avoid prolonged exposure generally. Give your skin the best level of protection with suitable clothing, including:
- long-sleeved shirt
- wide-brimmed hats
- UV-rated sun umbrellas
- Use More Than You Think
- Sunscreen Amount Safe SPF
Failing to apply enough sunscreen could be doing your skin damage. It’s estimated that most people apply less than half of the required amount.
You’ll need to apply about an ounce to your entire body to get full protection. Not sure what an ounce is? It’s about the same as a shot glass.
Finding the Best Sunscreen
Because sunscreen is something you apply every day, there are other factors to consider (beyond UV protection) to find the best sunscreen for you.
Finding “the one” stops it from being a chore you’re likely to skip and helps make applying sunscreen a no-brainer part of your daily routine.
Are these factors on your sunscreen wish list?
- Doesn’t irritate your skin or cause breakouts
- Environmentally friendly
- Soothes and Protects
- Doesn’t make you look like you’re wearing white clown make-up when heading out
Next time you are visiting Beauty By Roslyn why not pick up ASI Daylight Defence SPF