Why SPF Matters: Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin’s Protection

If you’re staying under the sun for a long time, it’s important to use sunscreen with a minimum value of SPF 30. However, the wide range of SPF would offer maximum protection from harmful UV rays. Irrespective of skin complexion, one must apply it 30 mins before going out under the sun.

Is It Important to Consider SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in Choosing a Sunscreen?

SPF as the name stands shields the skin against the sun’s radiation. Radiation can be of two types:

1. UVA(Ultraviolet A)- leads to skin aging such as wrinkles and sagginess.
2. UVB(Ultraviolet B)- it’s carcinogenic and causes sunburns more often.

Meanwhile, UVA makes UVB more reactionary, thus resulting in harmful effects altogether. When you’re sitting by the side of a window that has an inflow of sunrays, the radiation effect can still affect the skin even if not causing sunburns.
SPF however helps the skin to put on natural protection from such rays. A broad-spectrum sunscreen can provide extensive defence against both the rays than those with limited value.

Does Dark Skin Demand Less SPF?

Research suggests those with black complexions are more likely to develop lethal skin cancer than others.

Note: Sunscreen must not be put on babies under 6 months of age owing to its chemical content. They must be covered as much as possible to protect against the destructive sun rays. Also, baby sunscreens are available with special properties for their skin delicacy.

Does SPF Value Bear Any Relation with Prolonged Skin Protection?

Since sunscreen lasts for 2 hours on average, you need to reapply it duly. On the other hand, if you sweat more, feel any burning sensation on your skin, or spend time in the water, apply it more frequently.

How to Choose the Right Sunscreen?

If the sun exposure is comparatively low, sunscreen with SPF 15 would suffice. Ideally, you must take a count of the outdoor activities before deciding on the sunscreen variation. You can come across ample options of sunscreen to choose from in the market.

Water-resistant sunscreen

Although you will find the water-resistant tag on some sunscreens, no product can be truly waterproof. Meanwhile, if you perform any water sport wearing sunscreen, the SPF might drip into the eyes.

Spray sunscreen

This is a popular alternative among parents of mischievous kids. Experts recommend the usage of cream-based sunscreens than spray sunscreens since they might vent out deadly chemicals to children.

Natural sunscreen

Surveys have found that most mineral-sourced sunscreens are less effective than those with chemicals for active elements. Yet, those with the base of coconut oil or olive oil work well due to their natural SPF(8) content.

Low SPF vs high SPF

Sunscreens with low SPF might not give the expected results as shown in ads which is why one needs to be choosy enough before buying one. The highest SPF value for sunscreens is 50.

Can sunscreen prevent tanning?

The answer is no, as it might get washed out or rubbed off over the period.

Key Takeaways

Adults of all ages must apply sunscreen of SPF 30 if they spend considerable time outdoor. Either way, kids above 6 months must be made to wear cream-based sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Lastly, staying under shelter and covered outfits are also necessary to prevent the harmful sun rays.

About Us

Dr. Abhishek Malviya is a Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Laser Surgeon Specialist and Hair Transplant Surgeon in Pipliyahana, Indore and has an experience of 9 years in these fields.

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