You may have been wondering what SPF is and why sunscreens have different SPF ratings. What is the difference between the ratings, and does a higher number offer more protection?
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the measurement of sun protection from UV radiation, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer. In order for a sunscreen to protect against both UVB and UVA rays (broad-spectrum), it should include zinc oxide or a combination of UVA and UVB sunscreen ingredients such as titanium dioxide, avobenzone, and oxybenzone. We generally recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher:
- SPF 30 - blocks nearly 97% of UVB radiation; it allows you to stay in the sun without burning for about 30 times longer than it would normally take your skin to burn (i.e. approximately 60 minutes if your skin normally burns in 2 minutes)
- SPF 50 - blocks nearly 98% of UVB radiation; it allows you to stay in the sun without burning for about 50 times longer than it would normally take your skin to burn
- SPFs higher than 50 don't provide much more additional protection
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and enjoy outdoor life smartly!