Shopping for sunscreen is like shopping for window tint. Everyone thinks the darker, the better. Or, in this case, the higher the SPF sunscreen number must mean it’s more effective.
However, like window tint for your car, there is an optimal range of protection from sunscreen, and it’s not always the highest number.
If you’re wondering whether you should buy Sunscreen with an SPF 15, 30, 50 or SPF 100+, let’s take you through some facts before you spend that cash.
Optimal Range of SPF Protection
It’s logical to think that the higher the number on the bottle, the more effective the sunscreen must be. This is not the case, though.
At some point, there is no more protection that can be offered to your skin. That level of protection usually tops out at about SPF 50.
The reason there’s a range of products has more to do with the level of melanin (the skin pigment) in people’s skin. For example, a darker skinned person may be able to stay in the sun using SPF 20 or SPF 30 without burning for a longer period of time. However, a lighter skinned person might need to use SPF 50 to get that same level of protection for the same amount of time.
This is simply due to the melanin level in their skin that keeps them from burning as quickly. No matter what, though, the optimal range of sunscreen protection doesn’t exceed 50 in most documented cases.
From SPF 30 to SPF 50, you’re still talking about coverage in the 90th percentile. The few percentage differences don’t make that much of a difference unless you’re looking at the price tag.
There is no sunscreen that will protect you from a nuclear blast, which is sometimes what the advertising content would like to make you think.
Sunscreen Has a Time Limit
Whether you’re using a lower or higher number SPF, sunscreen usually wears off in about two hours. It must be reapplied in order to stay effective. The level of protection does not increase the time you can spend in the sun usually.
It simply lets you know whether it’s protecting you from UVA rays or both UVA and UVB rays. This is important because of skin cancer concerns.
However, when the two-hour time period is up, it affects everyone, not just the individual on the beach using SPF 15.
Everyone Needs Sun Protection
Even if you’re someone who tans more easily, you need to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. A beautiful tan looks lovely on the outside but can be causing skin damage on the inside. This is often why sun spots and dark patches appear on the faces and bodies of people who spend a lot of time in the sun unprotected.
By applying sunscreen, you’re giving your skin a better chance of staying healthy and avoiding the chances of skin cancer. Dangerous skin conditions don’t always show up right away either. They may take months or years to fully develop into something that needs to be treated.
Choose Your Sunscreen Today
Don’t waste another moment putting yourself at risk. Spending time in the sun should be fun and exciting. Make great memories with your loved ones and friends.
Protect your skin so you can feel more confident while ageing. Find the right SPF product for your skin type and make sure you take care of yourself from the inside out.