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What SPF Level Should You Wear Every Day: A Complete Guide

by Brinda Goel
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Since the weather shows no indications of cooling down, you should apply sunscreen liberally, just as you would on vacation. This includes applying it beneath your makeup and even to your hair.

Not using sunscreen on a daily basis is one of the most common cosmetic mistakes people make. It may seem extreme, but if you ask any famous person or dermatologist, they will tell you that we should all use facial sunblock all year round, but that it is more crucial in the summer when temperatures are higher and we spend more time outside. 

Protecting our delicate facial skin from the sun’s damaging rays requires the daily use of a high-factor sunscreen. Sunspots, pigmentation, and early skin age are all results of UVA radiation penetrating the skin and destroying the deeper layers. Applying sunscreen every day (even in the winter) is the best way to protect your skin from the sun. 

When used in conjunction with a daily SPF, vitamin C serum can increase the effectiveness of the SPF and reduce the likelihood of premature aging. This is because vitamin C is efficient in inhibiting tyrosinase to decrease melanin synthesis.

So, What Is SPF?

The acronym SPF refers to the sun protection level. This standard evaluates how well a product blocks ultraviolet (UV)B rays, one of the sun’s many types of harmful radiation. The British Association of Dermatologists advises applying sunscreen with at least an SPF30 rating, which provides 97% UVB protection. SPF 15 blocks 93% of the sun’s rays, whereas SPF 50 blocks 98%.

Is that to say that there isn’t a spectrum of UV rays? The sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays reach Earth’s surface. While UVA rays can go deeper into the skin, UVB rays only damage the outer layer. The Ozone layer also acts as a barrier for the highest-energy UVC rays. 

How Dangerous Are Ultraviolet Rays?

Your skin will suffer permanent harm from the dark tan you achieved today. Sun damage manifests as a lack of glow, the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles, discoloration, and a loss of firmness. Furthermore, UV damage raises the probability that you may acquire skin cancer.  

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen

Most of us think of “SPF” when we hear “sunscreen,” although that rating only applies to protection from UVB rays. Look for the words “broad-spectrum” or the initials “UVA” on the sunscreen’s package to ensure that it protects from both UVB and UVA rays. 

You should also consider whether you want a chemical or mineral sunblock. The minerals zinc oxide and titanium oxide are used in mineral sunscreens to block the sun’s rays. They provide a physical barrier between the skin and the sun, keeping harmful UV rays out. 

To protect the skin from harmful UV rays, use a chemical sunscreen, which the skin will absorb and then release as heat. Many individuals prefer to avoid using sunscreens that include the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate because of concerns that they may affect hormones and be hazardous to marine life. 

However, practically all manufacturers have done away with these safety concerns. Other chemical filters offer great sun protection and are perfectly safe to use. Isoamyl methoxycinnamate (1), butyl methoxy dibenzoylmethane (2), ethylhexyl triazone (1), bis-ethylhexyoxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (1), and Uvinul A Plus (1) are all effective chemical filters that won’t harm your body.

The most important thing is that your sunscreen provides broad-spectrum, high-level protection and is a pleasure to wear every day, even though there is much debate over which one is better (for example, mineral sunscreens start acting immediately but can leave a white cast, while chemical takes 20 minutes to start working and is less likely to leave a cast). 

Image Source: internetteders.com

SPF Ratings: The Higher The Better?

Does a higher sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreen actually work better? Not necessarily; the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) reflects the level of protection offered by a sunscreen against UVB radiation. Sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 don’t offer much more protection than SPF 50. 

It is crucial to understand what SPF (sun protection factor) numbers truly measure so that you can use them correctly to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. SPF is used to determine how much protection is provided against UVB radiation. The procedure is as follows:

SPF 15

Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is effective against over 93% of harmful UVB rays. Furthermore, this implies that the sunscreen will provide 15 times the protection that you would otherwise have if you were to go out into the sun unprotected. 

Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is among the most widely used. It has been demonstrated to effectively filter a sizable fraction of the UV radiation that reaches Earth, namely around 97% of the damaging UVB rays. 

SPF 30 

It provides enough protection for all skin types, despite the fact that many sunscreen labels indicate precise percentages for UVB blocking.

Sunscreens with an SPF of 50 are strongly recommended by dermatologists, particularly in the warmer months. How much sun protection does SPF 50 actually offer? This knowledge is crucial prior to donning any sort of sun protection. A study showed that 98% of UVB rays were stopped by using an SPF 50 sunscreen. This implies that it can greatly block harmful UVB rays from reaching your skin.

Comparing SPF 30 & SPF 50 

Both SPF 30 and SPF 50 are widely used sun protection factors (SPFs) in sunscreen lotions. While both provide some protection from the sun’s ill effects, they are not identical. 

Medium-strength defense against the sun’s harmful rays, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and is suitable for daily use. However, SPF 50 is the best option for persons who spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun or who live in extremely sunny regions because it filters 98% of UVB rays and provides more extensive protection. 

The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only 1% protection from UVB radiation.

Types Of Sunscreen Available

1. Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens are the only true way to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone in this kind of sunscreen absorb UV rays, reducing the likelihood of sunburn and other forms of skin damage. 

Chemical sunscreen enters the skin to absorb these troublesome UV rays, as opposed to physical sunscreen, which works by laying on top of the skin to block or deflect rays. In addition, the products in question are often less hefty and more quickly absorbed by the skin, making them ideal for use on long excursions. 

Those with sensitive skin or who are pregnant or nursing should avoid them since they might be harmful. Because they are chemically constructed, they also aren’t hygienic. 

2. Physical Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, use ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to produce a physical barrier on the skin’s surface that reflects UV light. They are also a fantastic environmentally responsible option because they do not harm coral reefs. 

While the idea of applying a lotion that leaves a film on your skin might be daunting, many physical sunscreens are surprisingly lightweight and non-greasy, so you won’t feel like a greasy ghost from the 1980s.

Final Word

Sunscreen is a must, it’s not even a question. Even if you never leave the house and are a closet vampire like me, you must still protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen daily. 

To begin, while the danger of being sunburned is reduced by 90% inside, 50% of UVA rays can still get through window glass and continue damaging your complexion. In addition, the blue light emitted by electronic gadgets might hasten skin aging even if you don’t have any windows in your home.

Wearing sunscreen has several advantages, including lowering one’s vulnerability to skin cancer, accelerated aging, and sunburns, in addition to being a matter of fundamental safety and common sense. 

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