When it comes to your skin, SPF is your secret weapon for a healthy and radiant glow. Sunscreen with an adequate SPF promises to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing sunburns or premature ageing. SPF acts as a protective barrier, allowing you to enjoy the sun's warmth while keeping your skin safe.
So, whether you're lounging on the beach or running errands around town, don't forget to slather on that SPF. Your skin will thank you with a youthful, vibrant complexion that radiates confidence and self-care.
Take a look at our guide to what SPF you should use and let your skin revel in the glory of sun safety.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for sun protection factor – a numerical measure of how well a sunscreen protects the skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
The SPF number represents the multiplier of time it takes for the skin to burn when wearing sunscreen compared to when not wearing any protection. For example, if you usually start to burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure, applying an SPF 30 sunscreen should extend that time by 30 times, providing protection for approximately 300 minutes.
The application of a significantly higher SPF may extend the protection period, but should not be relied on if you’re starting to feel sunburned. In this case, it’s time you retreat to the shade!
Staying on top of your sunscreen regime whilst enjoying the midday sun is absolutely essential if you want to reap the benefits of beautiful and healthy skin.
Why do we need sun cream?
Wearing sunscreen is essential for protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. UV rays can cause a range of damaging effects, making the regular application of sunscreen a crucial aspect of maintaining healthy skin.
Sunscreen also helps prevent premature ageing and skin damage, ensuring you look younger for longer. UV rays can accelerate the ageing process by causing wrinkles, fine lines, sunspots, and sagging skin. Applying our sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, shields the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, preserving its youthful appearance and maintaining its overall health.
What SPF should you use?
When it comes to SPF, it's all about finding the perfect match for your skin and sun-kissed adventures! So, let's dive into the world of sunscreens and discover the ideal SPF for you.
Is SPF 30 or 50 better?
For everyday sun exposure, dermatologists recommend using a minimum of SPF 30 – blocking around 97% of the sun's UVB rays. SPF 30 is ideal for your daily commute, lunchtime strolls, or day-to-day outdoor activities.
Now, if you're planning a beach getaway or spending a day basking under the scorching sun, it's time to turn up the SPF game and reach for SPF 50 or higher. This level of SPF provides a higher level of protection, acting as a formidable barrier against harmful UV rays, ensuring your skin looks fabulously fresh. With an SPF of 50 or higher, you can conquer the beach, pool or weekend festivals with peace of mind.
Whether you choose SPF 30 for everyday adventures or level up to SPF 50 and beyond for epic outdoor escapades, the key is to find a sunscreen that suits your skin type and activity level.
What is the difference between the different SPFs?
The difference between SPF levels lies in the level of protection they offer against UVB rays.
SPF 15 – the lowest level available – blocks about 93% of UVB rays, extending the time it takes for the skin to burn by approximately 15 times. While it provides a basic level of protection, it may not be sufficient for extended sun exposure or those with fair or sensitive skin.
Likewise, SPF 20 provides moderate protection against UVB rays, extending the time it takes for the skin to burn by about 20 times. It’s a good option for daily activities with limited sun exposure, but is not sufficient for those hot summer days.
Moving up the scale, SPF 30 provides a higher level of protection, blocking around 97% of UVB rays and extending the burn time by 30 times. It’s widely recommended by dermatologists for everyday use and is suitable for most skin types.
But the greatest protection comes from SPF 50, which blocks about 98% of UVB rays and extends the burn time by 50 times. It’s an excellent choice for prolonged sun exposure or individuals with very fair or sensitive skin.
Get yourself summer ready and find your perfect SPF – ideally suited to your skin type – with our quick online SPF quiz.
Does a sun cream with a high SPF protect skin better than one with a lower SPF?
The concept of a higher SPF providing significantly better protection than a lower SPF is a common misconception.
It may seem like higher SPF values offer significantly more protection. But the difference between, for example, SPF 50 and SPF 100, is minimal. SPF 100 blocks around 99% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks around 98% of UVB rays.
The incremental difference in percentage may seem minimal, but it's important to note that no sunscreen provides 100% protection. The effectiveness of any sunscreen also depends on factors such as proper application, reapplication, and the individual's skin type and sun exposure.
In addition, SPF primarily measures the level of protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburns, but it doesn't account for UVA rays, which contribute to premature ageing and skin damage.
The key to healthy skin lies in using sunscreen correctly, applying an adequate amount and reapplying it regularly, regardless of the sun cream factors. As such, choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays is essential for maintaining skin health in the face of sun exposure.
Remember, using the right SPF isn't just a summertime fling – it's a year-round commitment! Rain or shine, clouds or clear skies, your skin requires the utmost care and attention. So, no matter what you get up to this summer, make sure to have your bottle of sunscreen in tow and let the sun-kissed fun begin while keeping your skin happy, healthy, and beautifully protected!