Arm Yourself With the Proper SPF

Everyone has felt the confusion at the drug store while trying to decide on which SunCare products to buy. One bottle says SPF 100 while the other says SPF 30. The choice seems easy, but what do all the numbers mean anyway? These days consumers buy products based on what they think they should buy without actually knowing what it is. So it’s time to clear up the confusion on the SPF numbers once and for all.

The term SPF means “sun protection factor.” The number that is seen on the bottle of sunblock refers to the time you can be exposed to sun rays and not get burned, theoretically.

SPF is a comparison really. It compares the time it takes for your skin to turn red without any protection and adds SPF as a multiplier. So, with an SPF 15, say, that will allow you 15 times longer in the sun than without any protection before you burn. And an SPF 30 means 30 times longer in normal sun without sun burn damage.

This should immediately make you wonder about SPFs like 65 and 100! They seem absurd and are. Even the FDA wanted to cap SPF at 50 in its most recent reviews. The most important point that everyone agrees on is that significant sun protection starts at SPF 15.

 This should help you not be so confused the next time you buy sun protection products.

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