SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it refers to the amount of time a product can protect you from the sun’s UVB rays but not UVA rays. However, this amount of time varies for different people even when using the same SPF, because it is relative to the time it would take your skin to burn without any sunscreen on which can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 1.5 hours. That is why there is no one SPF that is the best for everyone. It works differently for each individual’s skin requirements.
What is Ultraviolet Radiation in SPF?
Sunlight includes visible light, heat, and UV radiation. UV is divided into three types and is classified by wavelength.
- UVA – Accounting for about 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, UVA has a relatively long wavelength that can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Responsible for immediate tanning, it also contributes to skin wrinkling and aging, and the development of skin cancers.
- UVB – Partially blocked by the atmosphere, medium wavelength UVB is unable to penetrate deeper than the superficial layers of skin. UVB is responsible for delayed sun tanning and burning. It also augments skin aging and increases skin cancer development.
- UVC – Short wavelength ultraviolet C (UVC) is totally blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. It isn’t a concern with sun exposure. It can, however, be dangerous with exposure to an artificial radiation source.
How to Calculate Your Sun Protection Factor?
Sun exposure time in minutes: Minutes to burn without sunscreen = SPF
Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF = Sun exposure time in minutes
For example : 10-minute x SPF 30 = 300 minutes
Caution! You are not completely safe during this time, as no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s UVB rays! The UV protection becomes weaker when you sweat, swim or use a towel to wipe your skin. Dermatologists recommend to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Even when you reapply frequently, it does not automatically extend the UVB protection or the time you can spend in the sun. Make sure you avoid the midday sun and give your skin regular breaks in the shade or indoors.
What Is The Difference between the SPF levels
A sun protection factor is a number that lets you know how it will take for the sun to burn the skin when using that level of sunscreen. When using an SPF 50 sunscreen as directed on the label, the user can expect it would take 50x longer to burn compared to not using any sunscreen. When evaluating which sunscreen level is best for you, think about how long it takes you to burn. If your skin starts to redden after being in the sun for only 10 minutes, an SPF of 15 protects the skin for 150 minutes if it is applied correctly. A higher SPF does not mean more protection, but there are some notable differences.
- SPF 15 offers protection from 93% of UVB rays.
- SPF 30 offers protection from 97% of UVB rays.
- SPF 50 offers protection from 98% of UVB rays.
- SPF 100 offers protection from 99% of UVB rays.
Choosing A Sunscreen
- Water-resistant sunscreen – Water-resistant sunscreen can offer good protection for water activities, but it may not be appropriate if you’re playing a sport that will cause the SPF to drip into your eyes. It’s also important to note that no sunscreen is truly waterproof.
- Spray sunscreen – This type of sunscreen is very popular, especially among parents of wiggling and running children. However, spray sunscreen has become a concern for some experts who recommend that parents choose a cream-based sunscreen first, instead of spray. Spray sunscreen may release harmful chemicals that your child can breathe in.
- Broad-spectrum – Broad-spectrum sunscreen means that the sunscreen blocks against both UVA and UVB rays. It’s a great idea to always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Steps to Sunscreen: Simplified
Here’s the lowdown on when and how to get the most out of your SPF.
- Apply SPF about 30 minutes before soaking up the sun. This gives it time to seep into your skin, providing thorough coverage.
- You actually need more sunscreen than you think. Aim for about one shot glass for your entire body. That’s about one teaspoon for your face, and another teaspoon for each arms/hands. Most of us apply less, missing out on the full coverage we need for sun protection.
- Don’t be fooled by cloudy days as UV rays can penetrate clouds (up to 80 percent!), so apply sunscreen even on cloudy days to keep your skin safe.
- Sunscreen is a daily must, especially when you’ll be out in the sun for a while. Remember to reapply every 2-3 hours, as its protection fades over time.
Effectiveness of Sunscreen Forms
Creams, lotions, and sprays are like the Avengers of sun protection – each with its unique style but equally effective in theory. They’re all on a mission to shield your skin from the sun’s rays.
However, in the real world, the way we apply sunscreen matters, as said by Ade Adamson —an assistant professor of dermatology at Dell Medical School. It’s not a “spray and walk away” situation. If you’re using sunscreen sprays, give each body part a five-second spray, then rub it in. It’s the secret handshake for getting the protection you need.
TCT Nutraceuticals Sdn Bhd is an OEM Skincare manufacturer in Malaysia. An OEM/ODM Factory with an extensive R&D team to formulate your products. We are both Halal and GMP Certified together with ISO 9001.
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