How to Choose the right SPF for you!
Often times, it is difficult to choose between the different levels of sun protection because we don’t have all the information. Many factors can go into choosing the correct SPF for each of us. Complexion, skin type, and even age are all major influencers.
What is SPF and What does do?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The different numbers measure your sunscreen protection from UVB rays. UVB rays have the ability to burn our skin depending on how long we are exposed to them. So for example if would normally burn after 10 minutes and you were to use SPF 18, you would be able to stay in the sun for a full 180 minutes longer before being at risk of sunburns. UVB rays may also cause skin cancer, using SPF would create a barrier over your skin protecting you from these issues as well as sun damage and many others. It is recommended to use SPF 15 and higher when out in the sun. The reason for this is any SPF below 15 will protect you ONLY from sunburns and will have no effect on the dangers of skin cancer or aging.
How do you choose between them and what is the difference?
Different levels of SPF provide different levels of protection. SPF 15 would block 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Some people wonder why anyone would use a lower SPF while others wonder who would use a higher one. Each has their pros and cons. Using a lower SPF would require more frequent applications, however it is more lightweight and is great for more sensitive skin that is prone to both breakouts and/or acne. Lower SPF is usually less oily as well, unless blended into a thick moisturizer. The darker your complexion the less protection you need from sunburns and the more likely a lower SPF would be more suited to your skin. For a faire complexion, it is recommended to use a higher SPF to ensure protection from sunburns and usually it is recommended to cover up and use a hat regardless of SPF. Although using a higher SPF will provide 1% more protection, it should be noted that it is in most cases extremely oily and will cause breakouts when applied on the face. There is also often a sense of security when applying a higher SPF which may cause one to forget to reapply. Most SPF is only active for 2 hours and must be reapplied.
**Pro Tip** When applying a moisturizer with an SPF, it proves to be a great primer. Protecting the skin from Free Radical Damage and preventing your makeup and impurities from penetrating your pores.
What SPF level do you wear?
I personally wear SPF 18 every day, all year, rain or shine — it’s just became a habit! My skin is acne-prone and sensitive to chemical sunscreens, so I stick with natural formulas.
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