THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT SUNSCREEN SPF NUMBER May 11, 2018 – Posted in: Beauty – Tags: spf number, sunscreen
With so many high SPF number sunscreens in the market, it creates a lot of confusion as to which number is the best in protecting your skin. We have many customers who stepped in our store and insisted on sunscreen with SPF 50 or more. But do we really need such high SPF? We’ll share some interesting (and surprising!) facts and myths about which SPF number you should be using to keep your skin protected from the damaging rays.
MYTH: The higher the SPF, the more protection I get.
FACT: SPF 30 offers only 4% more sun protection than an SPF 15. An SPF 45 offers only 2% more than an SPF 30. And an SPF 50 is only 1% more. The higher up you go, that percentage lessens. The real secret to protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is to reapply often (Reapply at least every two hours, and more often if you’re swimming or sweating.) and generously—it’s really not the SPF number that matters. According to recommendation from FDA, an average-sized adult or child needs at least one ounce of sunscreen (about the amount it takes to fill a shot glass) to evenly cover the body from head to toe.
SPF 30 is more than good enough. High SPF numbers like SPF 100 can give a false sense of protection and consumers may not apply it generously enough. Plus, if you’re someone with sensitive skin, the higher SPF number may contain more chemical additives, resulting in skin reactions and irritations.
Do you know that those ethical sun protection products for babies don’t go over SPF 50 and there’s a reason for it —more irritating chemicals as the SPF goes higher!
MYTH: Any off-the-shelf sunscreen from a drugstore will offer me maximum protection.
FACT: Not all sunscreens are broad spectrum, so it’s important to look for it on the label. Broad spectrum sunscreen provides protection from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There’re two types of UV radiation that you need to protect yourself from – UVA and UVB. Your skin needs both UVA and UVB protection. The SPF number only applies to UVB—the sunburn causing rays. The other rays—UVA rays— are the aging rays which breakdown collagen and elastin that cause wrinkles. Broad spectrum provides protection against both by providing a chemical barrier that absorbs or reflects UV radiation before it can damage the skin.
Zinc Oxide is an excellent UVA and UVB sunscreen. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s excellent for sensitive skin. Natural sunscreens such as SUNTEGRITY NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACE SUNSCREEN & PRIMER, BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 and 100% PURE YERBA MATE MIST SPF 30 SUNSCREEN contain Zinc Oxide, which is the best sunscreen ingredient on the market for protecting sensitive skin.
BOTTOM LINE: An SPF 30 with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protecting Zinc Oxide will keep your skin safe and protected as long are you’re applying (and reapplying) generously.
Shop here for all our highly recommended sunscreens.