header print

Guide: How High of an SPF Your Sunscreen Needs

 Most of us may not know the best SPF level for sunscreen - is it 15, 30, 50 or higher? Actually, it's a lot more complicated than you might think. The first problem is that most people do not put on enough sunscreen. So even if you are applying an SPF 30 or 50, chances are you only end up getting about half that level of protection. To get all the sun-blocking power your sunscreen promises, you need to apply about a shot glass's worth to your whole body.
 
 
It's also best to stick with actual lotion-based sunscreen, not aerosolized sprays as they are notorious for not providing the SPF number listed on the label. Now, if you are applying the correct amount of sunblock, SPF 30 will block 97% of ultraviolet light, while SPF 50 blocks 98.5%. It is also important to not forget certain parts of your body too - skin cancer on the lips, for instance, can be difficult to treat and can be more aggressive. With summer in full swing now, here are some other sunscreen tips you will want to bear in mind:
 
sunscreen tips
1. Always buy broad spectrum sunscreen

UVB rays cause redness and sunburns, while UVA rays cause even more damage that penetrates deep in your skin fueling cancers and ugly age spots. Be sure to apply a sunscreen that offers you protection from both UVA and UVB rays - checking the label for that exact phrase. Also remember to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen even on cloudy days as clouds do not block UVA rays, which means that your skin is still being damaged even if you are not burning. 

2. Consider physical sunscreens

There are two overriding sunscreens: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV light and turn it into heat that comes off the skin, while physical sunscreens contain tiny bits of metal or minerals that reflect the light. Due to their lack of chemicals, physical sunscreens are marketed as natural and typically use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to block out the sun. Chemical sunscreen, though effective, needs a little time to work - about 15 to 30 minutes, while physical sunscreen works immediately. 

sunscreen tips

3. Reapply, reapply!

This is a guideline that most people ignore. You need to reapply sunblock at minimum every two hours in order to get natural protection. And always reapply if you have been swimming, sweating, or wiping your skin with towels. In addition, your lips need frequent sunscreen re-application as they are more delicate than normal skin and don't have the same photo-protective elements. 

 

4. Sometimes, sunscreen isn’t enough

While sunscreens are good, if you are outside in peak sun in the middle of the day you are not going to be completely protected. For this reason, it is recommended to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day, when the sun's rays are strongest and always wear protective clothing, hats, and umbrellas. 

Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Related Topics: tips, health, guide, sunscreen, SPF
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy