Does Higher SPF Ensure Better Protection?

Posted for Sun Tanning On May 13, 2009


SPF or ‘Sun Protection Factor’ is a determining measure of the ability of a sunscreen to prevent sun damage. There is a widespread misconception that the higher the SPF of a sunscreen, the better the protection it offers. However, that’s not the case.

What Is SPF?
SPF is the ability of the sunscreen to protect against harsh sun rays before any damage is caused to the skin. If you can remain in the sunlight without getting burnt for about 30 minutes, then an SPF 15 product will increase the time you can spend in the sun 15 times more. That is, you can safely stay out in the sun for 30 X 15= 450 minutes.That is more than 7 hours. Now let’s talk about the 2 different Rays the sun emits.

UVB Rays
Sunscreens protect the skin against the harmful UVB rays of the sun. The UVB rays penetrate the skin surface and cause intrinsic damage. As a result, the skin begins to sag and deteriorate.

UVA Rays
Most sunscreen offer protection against UVB rays. Only some protect against UVA rays as well. Look for UVA-protective ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, mexoryl, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This ensures broad-spectrum protection.

Tips to Apply Sunscreen

  • Shake the sunscreen container well before use so that all the active particles get mixed properly.
  • Make sure you apply the sunscreen all over your face, behind ears, on the neck, hands,arms and decolletage.
  • Always apply sunscreen about 15-30 minutes before venturing out in the sun.
  • Make sure you re-apply the sunscreen after every two to three hours, especially so if you have done any activities that can wash it off like swimming, exercising.

So go ahead! have fun in the sun… with the sunscreen and other skin care products!


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