WHAT IS SPF AND DOES IT MATTER?
SPF is short for sun protection factor, and is a measurement of how long it takes to cause redness due to sun exposure. It is a ratio measured under laboratory conditions which compares the length of time it takes to get sunburnt without sunscreen, against how long it takes to get burnt with sunscreen on. If you are looking forward to med spa marketing agency
SPF does matter, particularly if you have light colored skin, which burns easily. Those with lighter skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15, preferably 30 or higher. Above that point, however, there is almost no difference in quality of protection because the sunscreen blocks most of the UVB rays anyways. Far more important are how much sunscreen is used, and how often it is reapplied.
HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN SHOULD BE APPLIED?
The short answer is, much more than you think. Polls from research have repeatedly shown that people use far less sunscreen than required for effective use, so that the sunscreen protects the skin as advertised. A good measurement should be a shotglass full of sunscreen for the body and the face.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A SUNSCREEN?
Broad spectrum protection (protects from both UVA and UVB)
SPF 15 or higher
Produced from a reputable company
Consistency of the sunscreen and personal preference
CAN SUNSCREENS PREVENT CANCER?
There is a lot of evidence that sunscreens reduce the chance of developing skin cancer, and pre-cancerous legions called actinic keratosis, which can later turn into a skin cancer. Additionally, sun damage also causes other skin problems such as wrinkling, and premature aging, which sunscreens can help prevent.
DO I NEED TO REAPPLY SUNSCREEN?
Yes, reapplication is important. All sunscreens degrade when exposed to sunlight. Ideally, sunscreens should be reapplied every hour to ensure that it is fully protecting your skin. Water, sweat, and wind are all real life factors that can weaken sunscreens. Remember that SPF is measured under laboratory condition, which don’t account for any of these common factors on the beach, or in the mountains.
Sun damage is a significant danger to the skin, both for medical and cosmetic reasons. While dermatologists and various non-profit organizations have been speaking loudly about the dangers of sun exposure for decades now, the public still lags behind in awareness.
In a survey, 70% of those on the beach were there, primarily to get a sun tan, and only half of those who were there were wearing any sunscreen.
It’s important to note that sunscreens are only one way to reduce the amount of sun exposure. Avoiding sun is still the best way to minimize sun exposure and damage. Many people believe that sunscreens allow then to safely acquire a suntan; this is not true. Tans are the result of sun damage, and the body’s way of protecting the skin from further damage.
The following are some good reasons to apply sunscreen:
Prevents painful sunburns
Reduces the chances of getting skin cancers
Prevents photodamage like hyperpigmentation, wrinkling
Prevents pre-cancerous conditions like actinic keratosis
Essential for those with skin problems like Rosacea
What Causes Sunburns?
Sunburns are painful burns on the skin that occur shortly after being overexposed to the sun. Sunburns are what most people fear when they go to the beach, and the reason that most people wear sunscreens.
Although most people regard sunburns as a minor annoyance, they can increase risk of skin cancer, and if severe enough, can cause a medical emergency (this occurs most commonly when a person goes on a vacation to a tropical country and underestimates the strength of the sun’s rays).
Typical signs of sunburn include:
Redness of the skin hours after exposure or during exposure if severe
Warmth on the skin
A feeling of fatigue and slight dizziness is common
Skin will peel after several days
Sunburns are caused primarily by the UVB wavelength. Although only about 5% of UVB rays are able to penetrate the ozone layer and reach the earth’s surface, they are responsible for the sunburns. Most sunscreens are effective at blocking out most of the UVB rays that hit the skin.
UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburns. SPF is a measurement of how long the sunscreen will protect the skin against sunburn. Understand, however, that these numbers reflect laboratory conditions, which assume full coverage and no environmental factors like water, wind, or sweat which erodes the strength of the sunscreen.
Sun avoidance is the best way to protect against sunburn.
Sunburns, especially those during childhood may increase the risk of some cancers.