Likewise, if you’re anything like me you are also highly concerned with protecting your skin while enjoying your fun in the sun! You only have to get that bad, “DON’T TOUCH ME!!!” burn one time in your life before applying sunscreen becomes a compulsion.
But when you’re shopping in the supermarket and you see all of your options, how do you really know what is right? Does anyone actually know what “SPF” is referring to? And is SPF 100 better than SPF 30?
The SPF rating is referring to the measurement of time it would take you to burn if you weren’t wearing sunscreen, as opposed to the time it would take if you are wearing sunscreen.
It is also specifically relating to the sunscreens ability to block UVB rays, which cause burns, but not UVA rays, which cause deeper skin damage, though both UVA and UVB can contribute to skin cancer.
Most people assume that SPF 30 is twice as effective as SPF 15, but that isn’t how it works. SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays, while SPF 45 only blocks up to 98% of UVB rays.
There is no product out there that will block 100% of UVB rays. Most dermatologists will say that anything above SPF 45 is just silly and a
marketing tool – that the difference between a medium and high SPF sunscreen is very minimal, and they recommend that SPF 30 is sufficient to protect you and your family from burning.
The key is to reapply, reapply, reapply! The first layer should be applied liberally a minimum of 30 minutes before going outdoors, and then applied again no more than two hours later, or after swimming and drying off, or sweating.
It doesn’t matter if you are using SPF 800 or SPF 15, after a few hours, the protection is gone. So keep your bottle handy, keep your family safe, and keep the fun in the sun going all summer long!