Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Undertstanding SPF and if what youre using is keeping you safely covered .
S.P.F = Sun Protection Factor
When it comes to sunscreen , it may seem any old sunblock will do just that, block the harmful effects of sun exposure FALSE. There are some key things to understand to protect your skin :
"Types" of sunscreen:
Physical or Chemical Sun Protectors
Any sunscreen used topically , can be classified in 2 groups. Physical or chemical.
Chemical spf's , absorb the UV rays while the latter reflects the rays.
Understand that using SPF you are putting a product on that is only shielding against UVB , the cancer causing rays . SPF's measure with the number component , just how much you are protected.
So its common to think ,the higher the number , the better protection ! FALSE
Protection factors 10, 15, 25, 30,50 , 100
If using a SPF 15 , you are essentially getting 15x longer time without burning. However it is not an exact science or math problem per say. All this varies on the intensity of the sun , skin type ,etc..
General Rule of Thumb for common daily activity :
Use a SPF of 30 and re-apply every 2 hours
Another variable that changes the protection power is the amount applied. If you are not using the recommended "dose" per application youre not getting all the benefits you think you are . Using an SPF 30 , but applying 1/2 of the dose, the protection level is only the square root of that =5.5 % protection!!
Clients especially , have the misconception that SPF 50+ is the best , since the number is higher . It is so important to explain that the jump from 30 to 50 isnt providing them almost double protection , but a minimal % more . There is yet to be a sunblock that will 100% guarantee full shielding .
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
For protection after aggressive treatments such as chemical peels, a sunblock that contains healing ingredients such as yarrow root,Reservatrol,and oat extract. Lira Clinical offers 3 broad spectrum products , each having its own unique deck of ingredients to be used for all needs.Whether its normal activity of walking in/out of home, work and from car. or if its for a pool , or even post peel.
With corss checking your ingredients stay away for skin drying alcohol and know your Zinc! Zinc oxide serves our skin well, but not all zinc is appropriate. Shop for larger particle size for ultimate shield , and one that doesnt leave the white-ish hue .
In order to claim UVB/UVA "Broad Spectrum Protection " manufacturers must go through many tests by the FDA to make such claims. So go with FDA approved Sunscreen you know will live up to its promise. Another reason why I LOVE Lira Clinical SPF line.
For the best protection skip the sun bathing , but also cover as best you can while in the sun , wear a wide brimmed hat, sun glasses , light weight long sleeved top and never skip re-application for the days you are enjoying the outdoors for more than a few hours . P.S. dont forget to slather your SPF on hands, neck and decollette !!! Sun exposure will cause damage to any exposed parts and result in premature aged skin that is dry, pigmented and leather like.