When it comes to sun protection, we are told to always use nothing less than an SPF30 on our skin. But why? Mario Correia, brand manager for Everysun, encourages us to ask questions when it comes to sunscreen. Questions should include: How does SPF work? Why are there different protection levels? How should it be applied? He says that by knowing the answers to questions such as these, making sunscreen choices will be easier and provide your skin the protection it needs.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measure of how effectively a sunscreen product can protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Correia breaks down everything you need to know about SPF:
- The sun emits different types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are primarily responsible for causing sunburns, while UVA rays can contribute to skin ageing and may also be linked to skin cancer.
- When sunscreen is applied to your skin, it forms a protective layer that absorbs, scatters or reflects the UV rays.
- The SPF number you choose indicates how much longer it will take for your skin to start to burn compared to not wearing any sunscreen. For example, if you’d normally start to burn after 10 minutes in the sun without protection, using an SPF 30 sunscreen means that you can stay in the sun for up to 300 minutes (10 minutes x 30).
- Each SPF offers different protection levels:
- SPF 15: Filters out about 93% of UVB rays.
- SPF 30: Filters out about 97% of UVB rays.
- SPF 50: Filters out about 98% of UVB rays.
- SPF 100: Filters out about 99% of UVB rays.
- Choosing the right SPF protection level can depend on your skin type and how long you plan to be in the sun. People with fair skin need a higher SPF protection, and if you’re spending extended periods outdoors, a higher SPF is recommended.
Once you have chosen the desired SPF sunscreen for your skin type and activity, you need to be considerate of the way in which it is applied to keep you well protected:
- First step is to choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection, which means it guards against UVA and UVB rays. This should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going into the sun. Everysun’s range of family friendly sunscreen and sun protective products offers broad-spectrum protection from the top of your head to your toes.
- Cover all exposed areas with ENOUGH sunscreen and don’t forget areas such as your ears, neck, top of your feet and the back of your hands. It is recommended to use 30ml or two tablespoons of sunscreen on the average body.
- Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, however the effectiveness of your sunscreen diminishes quicker if you are perspiring or swimming. It’s important then to reapply sunscreen more frequently, especially if you are around a reflective surface such as water or snow.
- Be sure to apply your sunscreen to your face before applying your make-up, and don’t forget about your lips as well. Everysun’s anti-ageing face crème moisturiser offers SPF50 protection to keep your skin well protected for longer.
- Always check your sunscreen’s expiry date. Using sunscreen that has expired will lessen the protection provided to your skin.
Knowing about sunscreen and how to choose and apply it allows you to give your skin the protection that it needs. “Ask questions and do your research. Remember that sunscreen is just one part of sun protection. You should also consider wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses when you’re out in the sun for extended periods.
Also see: 5 Must have summer essentials