What is SPF and why is it so important in sunscreens?

What is spf

Slowly but surely, the knowledge about the sun and its negative impacts is growing. Since global warming has damaged our ozone layer, the sun’s rays that we feel every day do contain many harmful rays like UVA and UVB rays which can damage our skin and cause several issues. Sunscreen or sunblock are special lotions or creams that are formulated to protect the skin from such sun damage. But how can we measure this protection? Through a term called Sun Protection Factor!

In this article we will understand SPF and its importance and how you can use sunscreens to get several advantages. Let us begin by understanding what SPF is.

What is SPF or the Sun Protection Factor?

Sun Protection factor or SPF is a number or a value that represents the kind of protection a sunscreen or sunblock can provide your skin. This numerical value shows how long one can stay in the sun without getting sunburned using protection compared to without using protection. If your skin gets sunburned within 10 minutes when you do not use sunblock, then the SPF number represents the amount of time you can stay protected from sunburn.

What does this mean for the SPF values you typically see on sunscreen bottles?

SPF30 could give you 30 into 10 times which means 300 minutes (5 hours) of protection. SPF 50 could give 50 into 10 times which equals 500 minutes (8 hours) of protection and so on.

What are the most important features of sunscreen?

Sunscreens are an important skincare product that needs to be bought after careful research and consideration. There are a few important features of sun cream that you should look out for when buying a new sunscreen cream. Here’s what they are:

1. SPF

Represents the amount of protection you will receive by using a particular sunscreen. As a rule, always remember that the higher the number, the higher the protection. So always opt for SPF 30 and above for daily usage.

2. Broad spectrum protection

Since SPF only protects against UVB rays, you need to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that provides protection from UVA, UVB and other harmful rays.

3. Ingredients

Always check the ingredient list of a sunscreen before making a purchase. Look for ingredients like zinc oxide, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate etc. It also helps to check the ingredient list to avoid any ingredient that does not suit your skin.

4. Skin compatibility

Today, there are a variety of sunscreens available to suit each skin type. Since you are supposed to wear sunscreen daily, ensure that you buy a sunscreen that is made for your skin type and feels comfortable when you apply it.

5. Water resistance

Sweat, rain and water should not come in the way of sun protection. So having a water resistant sunscreen is perfect for those who live near water or in humid conditions.

Types of sunscreens

There are two main types of sunscreens that offer broad spectrum protection available today.

1. Chemical sunscreens

These sunscreens contain organic compounds like avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, etc. that absorb UV radiation, convert it into heat and release it from the skin. These are generally light-weight and spread easily.

2. Mineral sunscreens

Unlike chemical sunscreen that absorbs radiation, mineral sunscreen contains ingredients like zinc oxide that form a physical layer between the skin and the environment. These are perfect for sensitive skin and cause close to no irritation.

Today these are two wider categories of sunscreen types. Sunscreens with both of these qualities also exist. And, sunscreens are not restricted to sun cream anymore and come in many forms like sunsticks, gels, sun sprays etc. Each of these have unique and powerful formulations so it is advised to choose the best sunscreen for you only through careful consideration and research.

How much and how often do you use sunscreen?

If you are wondering how to use sunscreen and how much is the right amount, then you are at the right place. Skin specialists around the world advise on using two fingers worth of sunscreen on a single application. And this same amount must be reapplied every 2-3 hours if you are stepping out into the day. Reapplication is very important as the sun cream loses its efficacy after a few hours. Reapplication keeps your skin protected at all times and ensures that you fight sunburn, tan, sun spots, skin cancer and signs of ageing too.

About makeO sun smart sunscreen

makeO sun smart sunscreen is one of the best SPF 50 sunscreens that offers broad spectrum protection for all skin types. With its comfortable light ultra matte cream gel formulation it glides onto the skin with ease and the vitamin C in this sunscreen also brightens your face while protecting it! Our sunscreen is fragrance-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan which makes it perfect for sensitive skin users too!

In short, SPF is Sun Protection Factor, a numerical value that denotes the amount of protection a sun cream can provide. It is important to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 and above for daily use and always look out for features like broad spectrum, water resistance, skin compatibility and more when buying a new one.

FAQs on Sun Protection Factor (SFP)

What does SPF 50 sunscreen mean?

SPF 50 on a sunscreen means that the sunscreen can provide upto 500 minutes of protection from UVB rays. makeO skinnsi’s sun smart sunscreen is an excellent SPF 50 sunscreen option for skin types. Check it out here!

What does sunscreen do for your face?

Sunscreen protects your face from

  • Harmful UVA and UVB rays
  • Prevents the appearance of tan and sun spots
  • Reduces risk of skin cancer
  • Slows down the signs of ageing

Is SPF 30 or 50 better for daily use?

Both are good for daily use. SPF 30 is perfect for daily use but if you are stepping out for long hours, SPF 50 will ensure your skin stays well protected.

Is it OK to use sunscreen daily?

It is crucial to use sunscreen daily to ensure that your skin stays protected from sun damage. You can help fight ageing signs like wrinkles, fine lines and loose skin by wearing sunblock daily too. Using a sunscreen daily can help prevent risk of skin cancer and help you retain your skin’s natural healthy and youthful glow for longer!

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