Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays should always be a top priority. Sunscreen is your best defense against sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
When you’re faced with a sea of sunscreen options and varying sun protection factor (SPF) numbers, you may ask, “How do I know what SPF to use?” Let’s unravel the mystery behind SPF and guide you through determining the right SPF for your skin.
Benefits of SPF
Before diving into SPF selection, let’s briefly discuss the benefits of sunscreen and SPF. As mentioned above, regular sunscreen use can help lower your risk of developing skin issues and premature aging. Every sunscreen has an SPF number that indicates how much protection it provides against UVA and UVB rays. These two types of ultraviolet radiation can cause permanent damage to your skin in the form of wrinkles, discoloration, and cancer.
How Often Should You Reapply?
Besides knowing what the best SPF to use is, it’s also crucial to reapply sunscreen regularly. A standard guideline is to reapply every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating. Sunscreen can wear off over time or due to external factors, so don’t forget to replenish your protection throughout the day. Moreover, the type of sunscreen you use also matters; there are water-resistant sunscreens, spray sunscreens, and more. Generally, the quality of protection depends mainly on your chosen product.
How To Know What SPF You Should Be Using
Tip #1: Look for SPF 30 or Higher
Now, how do you know what SPF to use? Experts suggest using an SPF of 30 or higher because higher SPFs provide more protection. There are also discrepancies in the effectiveness of many sunscreens compared to their advertised claims, particularly those with a very low SPF. Note that the protective benefits don’t increase beyond SPF 50; however, there are instances where a bottle labeled SPF 50 may actually offer less protection. Regardless, opt for SPF 30 or higher.
Tip #2: Dispel the Myth That Darker Skin Doesn’t Require Sunscreen
It’s a common misconception that those with darker skin tones don’t need to know what the best SPF to use is because they don’t need sunscreen. However, research reveals a stark reality that contradicts popular belief. A study found a higher incidence of skin cancer among Black individuals, underlining the importance of sunscreen for all skin types. Therefore, go back to our first tip, and choose an SPF 30 or higher.
Tip #3: Consult a Dermatologist
Lastly, it’s worth consulting a certified dermatologist if you’re still unsure about what SPF sunscreen to use. A professional in the field can provide personalized advice tailored to your skin type and lifestyle factors. Besides the SPF, they can also recommend suitable sunscreen ingredients and regimens. With the help of an expert, you can ensure that your skin is properly protected against the sun’s damaging rays.
When you’re choosing which sunscreen to use, start by picking an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t assume that darker skin tones don’t require sunscreen. It’s also ideal to consult a dermatologist for personalized advice. Remember that consistent application and reapplication are integral regardless of the SPF you choose. By following these tips, you can enjoy sun-filled days safely!
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