20, 30, 50, 70… Sun protection is NOT just about the SPF number!
Fact 1: More isn’t necessarily better
• An SPF of 30 means that if your skin normally reddens after 20 minutes in the sun, SPF 30 will prolong it by 30 times – so that’s 600 minutes, or 10 hours
• But this is not an absolute number, and varies by individual
• And is dependent on sweat, water etc on the skin – even for “water-resistant” sunscreens
Therefore, don’t take these numbers too seriously.
Fact 2: SPF 40 is not twice as good as SPF 20
Fact 3: You need to look for the PA factor
• UVA rays, also part of sunlight, cause more “underlying” damage and wrinkles
• Protection against UVA rays is commonly measured using a PA factor, with PA+, PA++, PA+++ and PA++++ indicating increasing levels of coverage
So, stop looking just at SPF. Look at the UVA protection rating as well!.
Fact 4: How, and how much, you apply matters
• Apply at least 20 mins before you step out in the sun
• Take around half a teaspoonful if just for face & neck, 2 teaspoonfuls for your face and arms, and around 2 tablespoonfuls if you are using sunscreen on your legs as well
• Reapply every 2-3 hours – especially if swimming or sweating a lot, even if the sunscreen claims to be high SPF and water resistant
Fact 5: It’s not just about sunscreen
Fact 6: While protection is great, prep and recovery, are needed too