Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
While it is an often-used term, many people do not know what SPF actually means or how to determine the one that is the best fit for their needs. The Sun Protection Factor describes how long the sunscreen will protect the skin from damaging rays, and the higher the SPF the more efficiently it filters, and the fewer rays get through.
Any of the sunscreen options chosen will require re-application and many will only protect against UVB rays or UVA rays, while a full spectrum will protect against both.
UVA And UVB Rays
UVA rays are the rays from the sun that are long and that get deep into the skin causing damage such as aging the skin, including wrinkles and sagging skin, and can potentially lead to skin cancers.
UVB rays in contrast are short waves that affect the surface layers of the skin and will cause typical sunburns, damage the outer layers of skin, but can also lead to skin cancer. For these reasons a full-spectrum sunscreen should be used when possible as it will offer protection from all of the UV rays and deter formation of skin damage and cancer.
The Right Sun Protection Factor
As mentioned above, when choosing an appropriate SPF it is important to know what the Sun Protection Factor is. This protection factor shares how long and how much of the sun’s rays the skin is protected from. SPF 15, for example, would protect the skin from damage for 15 times longer than the skin would be safe when outside with no sunscreen at all, and stops a little over 90 percent of the UV rays.
In comparison, an SPF 30 filters out over 95 percent and SPF 50 even more. These protections do not stop all sunburns and skin damage from occurring but provide an increased time frame before the damage begins. To maintain this protection it must be used as recommended.
Reapply Sunscreen Often
To ensure sunscreen is offering the best protection available it must be reapplied often. For those that are not waterproof it should be applied each time it gets wet - even and when sweating occurs.
All sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, though some may say four hours on the bottle. It is important to read the instructions and recommendations for the specific sunscreen in use.
When choosing your sunscreen there are many decisions to be made. Sunscreen is available in spray, lotion, and even gel, and with a range of SPFs. Your chosen SPF will affect how long you can remain outside in the sun without receiving damage to the skin.
When choosing a UVA, UVB, or broad spectrum, your SPF will allow you to choose what type of protection you require, though broad spectrum is a safe choice that will offer protection from both kinds of UV rays.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.