SPF isn't an unfamiliar term for you if you are a frequent buyer of sunscreens. But do you know — the significance of the number that stands along with it? Well, if you don't, then you should.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which basically means how long your sunscreen can protect your skin against UV radiation.
Knowing how to choose the right sun protection factor number plays a crucial role!
Because just buying sunscreen without considering the right SPF number wouldn't give you the desired results, and that's certainly not what you would want, right?
So, let's dive into the in-depth details of how to choose the right SPF number and understand the crucial role it plays!
How to choose right sun protection factor number?
Sun protection factor numbers: Know the difference between SPF 15, 30, 40 and 50
Choosing the right sun protection factor number, can get confusing.
Well, the confusion is totally understandable, as there are multiple options available in the market. We’re pretty sure, there must be several questions racing through your mind .Which SPF should I opt for? SPF 15 sunscreen ? Or sunscreen with SPF 30?Is a sunscreen with a higher SPF of 40 and SPF 50 better ? Which SPF number would be ideal for me ?
But don't worry; we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to know.
Firstly, to choose the right sun protection factor number, it is important to know the difference:
- SPF 15 approximately protects against 93% UV rays.
- SPF 30 approximately protects against 97% UV rays.
- SPF 40 approximately protects against 97.5% UV rays.
- SPF 50 approximately protects against 98% UV rays.
If your looking to up your sunscreen game here are some recommendations from the FDA, American Academy of Dermatology Association, and the British Association of Dermatology.
- The FDA recommends choosing at least SPF 15 to get maximum protection against UV rays. However, it also recommends people with fair skin consider SPF 30.
- The American Academy Of Dermatology Association recommends SPF 30 or higher.
- The British Association Of Dermatology also recommends using sunscreen which has SPF 30 or higher.
- Do you mostly stay indoors, rarely go outside, and that too for a little while? In that case, you may consider going with SPF 15 sunscreen.
- Are you someone who needs to stay outside all day or most of the time? In that case, you may consider going with SPF 30, 40, or SPF 50.
- It is also important to consider your outdoor activities. For example, if you are going swimming, then you may go for Sun Protection Factor numbers 30, 40, or 50.
But is only choosing the right sun protection factor number enough?
While choosing the best sunscreen, only choosing the right SPF number is not enough!
Along with choosing the right sun protection factor number, there is also another crucial factor that needs to be considered — broad spectrum protection.
Broad spectrum protection provides UVA protection and UVB protection. UVA and UVB are two harmful UV rays!
- Importance of UVA protection: UVA alone approximately accounts for 95% of UV radiation that reaches the Earth's surface and can penetrate to the deeper skin layers. UVA can cause delayed tanning. Also, it is responsible for skin aging. Moreover, it may also contribute to the development of skin cancer.
- Importance of UVB protection: UVB doesn't penetrate beyond the superficial skin layers, it can cause delayed tanning and burning, skin aging and also plays a vital role in promoting the development of skin cancer.
Does your skin need UVA protection and UVB protection?
The answer would be , Yes! Always remember ,while choosing your sunscreen check for the SPF number and the broad spectrum protection to keep your skin protected against harmful UV rays.
Things to remember
Once you’ve got your hands on the right sunscreen , the next thing to do would be to reap the maximum benefits of the product .
- Applying your sunscreen : Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going out. This will help the product bind into your skin before you are exposed to the sun .
- Reapplying your sunscreen : Always remember, no matter which sunscreen you are using, even if it is SPF 50, you have to reapply the sunscreen after every two - three hours to maintain the effectiveness. Reapply sunscreen after activities like swimming or after sweating or if you have washed off your face.
- Quantity of Sunscreen : Another crucial factor that determines the absolute effectiveness of your sunscreen is the amount of sunscreen you are applying. Ideally you need to apply at least half a teaspoon of sunscreen for your face & neck.
So, while shopping for a sunscreen, you must consider the two crucial factors: sun protection factor number and broad spectrum protection. Randomly buying sunscreen without considering these factors may not help you get the best protection for your skin. And remember, you will only achieve the best results if you apply an adequate amount of sunscreen at the right time and in the right manner
Have you been on the look out for a sunscreen that is specifically formulated for Indian skin types?
Then look no further! Try Dermatologist formulated SkinQ's Sun Protect Gel, a first of its kind in India with built-in Vitamin C added protection. The sun protect gel is suitable for all skin types, it comes with SPF 40 PA++++, and is a lightweight non greasy , non sticky formulation!