What is SPFWhat is SPF

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Now that winter is almost over, and summer is getting closer, let’s talk about sunscreen. This doesn’t imply that we do not have to be cautious about sun exposure during winters. But summertime is when UV rays are the strongest, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is to slap on some sunscreen and reapply it frequently. 

Getting your hands on the perfect sunscreen is a challenging task. Should you go for sunscreen spray, cream, or perhaps gel? Like its consistency, it’s important to understand the SPF and the corresponding SPF count in each sunscreen pack.

In today’s blog, we’ll be particularly going through what SPF is and what do the numbers signify. 

SPF— Sun Protection Factor

The SPF number compares how long it would take the sun’s UV rays to burn the skin if you used sunscreen against how long it would take if you didn’t. 

This means that it would take 50 times longer for you to get redness on the skin if you used an SPF 50 sunscreen than using no sunscreen. But, of course, the timeframe isn’t controlled by sunscreen alone. Genetics also plays a pivotal role in how quickly you burn. For example, a person with darker hair, eyes, and skin will burn far slower than a person with very fair skin and light-coloured eyes and hair. But applying sunscreen with a higher SPF to protect their skin is necessary for both. 

Is wearing SPF enough to prevent sunburn?

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB, that can harm your skin. These rays have been linked to an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. UVB rays cause most skin cancers, while UVA rays trigger premature ageing. SPF is limited to the metrics of UVB alone— primarily concerned with lowering the risk of skin cancer. So, if you want to protect yourself from premature ageing, you should look beyond the SPF label. Watch out for a sunscreen bottle that has a “broad spectrum” label as well. A broad-spectrum formula protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Is it true that higher SPF numbers are better?

While higher SPFs offer higher protection, the protection difference becomes lesser as the SPF increases— SPF 15 equals 93% UVB protection, SPF 30 equals 97% UVB protection, SPF 50 equals 98% UVB protection, and SPF 100 equals 99% UVB protection. 

Experts suggest using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Choosing sunscreen with a high SPF  is always a good idea. No sunscreen can shield off UVB rays 100%, which is why incorporating preventive measures like avoiding the outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing long-sleeved shirts/pants, and sunglasses are good sun safety practices— especially during peak Indian summers. 

How to Use Sunscreen Correctly? 

You want to slather on your sunscreen 20 minutes before heading out. Then, reapply it in all the focus parts every 90 minutes to stay protected— face, ears, neck, legs, feet, and any other exposed areas. If you sweat a lot more than usual, consider using water-resistant sunscreen. Do not forget the lips as you protect your body from the sun. Apply lip balm, preferably 15 SPF, and in the same way, reapply it periodically. Careless sunburn measures such as not using enough, reapplying, or using an expired product can lead to sunburn. Whenever we step under the sun, be it sunny or snowy, our skin becomes vulnerable to UV rays (even if our eyes cannot see the rays). So, use sunscreen offering intensive sun safety to protect your precious skin at all times. 

Regardless of how you’ll be spending your day, at home or outdoors, do not forget to apply intensive care sunscreen at every interval. If possible, you want to pair your sunscreen with a topical vitamin C serum to fight free radicals and UV irradiation while slowing the facial wrinkles and brightening your skin. As mentioned above, don’t just depend on your sunscreen for sun protection— take proactive measures by wearing protective clothing and seeking shade whenever possible. 

By admin

Writing and blogging is my passion. Providing meaningful information to readers is my object.