Sunscreen: What you need to know about SPF and sun protection
- Posted on
- By Karole
Summer is approaching and that means we all want to enjoy the beautiful weather and the sun. Too much exposure to the sun can be harmful to your skin. Fortunately, there are various ways to protect yourself from UV radiation and sunburn. One of the most important tools for this is SPF (Sun Protection Factor). In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about SPF and sun protection.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it is a measure of the degree of protection against UVB radiation. UVB radiation is the harmful radiation responsible for sunburn and skin cancer. SPF measures how long it takes for your skin to turn red when you use sunscreen, compared to how quickly it happens when you do not use sunscreen. So if, for example, you would normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, you would be protected for about 300 minutes with an SPF 30 sunscreen.
How does SPF work?
SPF works by creating a layer on the skin that reflects or absorbs UV radiation. A sunscreen with SPF 30 filters out about 97% of UVB radiation, while a sunscreen with SPF 50 filters out about 98%. It is important to remember that SPF only indicates the degree of protection against UVB radiation, not against UVA radiation. UVA radiation is also harmful and can cause skin aging and cancer. Therefore, it is important to always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
What types of sun filters are there?
There are two types of sun filters, mineral and chemical filters. Chemical filters absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, while mineral filters create a physical barrier on the skin that reflects UV radiation.
What are mineral sun filters?
Mineral sun filters contain natural ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients work by creating a physical barrier on the skin that reflects UV radiation. Mineral sun filters are generally better for people with sensitive skin because they are less likely to irritate. They are also less harmful to the environment.
What are chemical sun filters?
Chemical sun filters, on the other hand, contain synthetic ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone. These ingredients work by absorbing UV radiation and converting it into heat. Chemical sun filters are generally cheaper and easier to obtain than mineral filters. However, they can be irritating to the skin (they penetrate the skin) and harmful to the environment.
What factor sunscreen should I use?
The factor of sunscreen you should use depends on various factors, such as your skin type, the intensity of the sun, and the duration of exposure to the sun. People with very fair skin and those who burn easily should use a higher factor, such as SPF 50.
Children and sunscreen
Children's skin is generally more sensitive to the sun than adults' skin. This is because children's skin is thinner and more vulnerable and has less pigment than adults' skin. Therefore, children can burn more easily and suffer damage from exposure to the sun. Children are also more likely to develop skin cancer later in life if they are exposed to the sun as children. This is because children's skin cells are still developing and growing, making them more susceptible to damage from UV radiation. Therefore, it is important to protect children from the sun and teach them how to protect themselves. This includes using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (SPF30 or SPF50), as well as wearing protective clothing and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours of the day.
What is the best SPF for the face?
There is no universal "best" SPF for the face, as this depends on your skin type and your specific needs. However, it is recommended to use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen for the face.
It is important to protect yourself from the sun to prevent sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer. Make sure to always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Protect your skin and enjoy the beautiful weather!