With this month being national Cancer From the Sun Month, let’s chat about SPF and sun protection.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for “sun protection factor.” For example, when choosing a bottle of sunscreen at the store, say you choose one that is 15 SPF. That number is measuring the protection against UVB rays, meaning that particular sunscreen would offer your skin 15 times more protection of UVB rays compared to your skin with no sunscreen at all. The higher the number means the more protection there is from those rays.
Does 30 SPF offer double the protection of a 15 SPF sunscreen?
As much as a math teacher would agree, this is incorrect. 15 SPF offers 93 percent protection of UVB rays. A 30 SPF protects around 97 percent. While it’s still an increase, it is, in no ways, doubling your protection from the sun.
Are there different types of sunscreens?
Indeed. There are two different types of sunscreen, one being physical and the other being chemical.
Physical Sunscreen: protects your skin from the sun by trying to block the sun’s rays from your skin.
Chemical Sunscreen: works by soaking up the sun’s rays instead of letting your skin soak the rays up.
How much sunscreen should I use?
Good question. According to skincea.com here are some measurements to go by when applying sunscreen. **
Face: ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen
Neck: ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen
Arms: ½ teaspoon for each arm
Legs: ½ teaspoon for each leg
Chest: 1 teaspoon of sunscreen
Back: 1 teaspoon of sunscreen
**Remember everyone’s body size is different. These are just suggested measurements. If you feel these aren’t enough to fully cover your body add more.
The most important part of sun protection is knowing, no matter where you’re going, or how sunny it is, you are at risk of skin cancer due to overexposure to UVB rays. Using sun protection is an important task that should be included in your everyday regimen.