What is SPF?
SPF stands for SUN PROTECTION FACTOR.
SPF or Sun Protection Factor : Is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin.
Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation,UVA and UVB,causes damage to the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
UVB is the major cause of sunburn, while UVA rays,are linked to deeper skin damage like wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of aging.They also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.
Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red,using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer,Lets say like about five hours.
TERMS OF PERCENTAGES :
SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays,
SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent,and
SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent.
They may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a huge difference. And as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.
PROBLEMS WITH UVA MODELS :
First, no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Second, “reddening” of the skin is a reaction to UVB rays alone and tells you little about what UVA damage you may be getting. Plenty of damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.
WHO SHOULD USE SUNSCREEN ?
Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen daily. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day, especially if they work near windows, which generally filter out UVB but not UVA rays.
WHAT TYPE OF SUNSCREEN SHOULD WE USE ?
The answer depends on how much sun exposure you’re anticipating. In all cases a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays is recommended.
Many moisturizer,after-shave lotions and a few foundations have sunscreen (usually SPF 15 or greater),even some primers already in them, and this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun. However, if you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant, beachwear-type sunscreen that holds together on your skin. The “water-resistant” and “very water-resistant” types are also good for hot days,while playing sports or if you swim, because they’re less likely to drip into your eyes when you sweat. However,these sunscreens may not be as good for everyday wear. They are stickier, don’t go as well with makeup, and need to be re-applied every two hours.
Do you need sunscreen when its cold or cloudy outside ?
Yes you do.Up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day.So its advisable to always use sunscreen daily.
The importance of using both UVB and UVA protection cannot be emphasized enough. For patients who really wish to know “how high should I go?” I suggest products with SPF no lower than 30 and no higher than 50. In addition to an SPF of 30+, your sunscreen should include some combination of the following UVA-blocking ingredients: Zinc Oxide,Titanium dioxide, Avobenzone, Ecamsule, and Oxybenzone. Sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection may be labeled multi spectrum, broad spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection.
Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure.Also you should know sunscreen won’t do all the work,it is advisable to choose your clothes wisely before you go out in the sun. Dark clothing can block nearly all UV radiation and tightly woven fabrics are more protective than looser weaves. If you’re wondering how well your clothing will protect you, just hold it up to the sun. If you can see light passing through it, UV rays can get through, too.Hats also helps cover the face from UV. Keep in mind that no matter what you’re wearing, all fabrics block less UV light when they’re stretched or wet.Also try not to spend too much time outdoors.
This is just some pictures of products with SPF,to show you where to check if there is SPF or not,when getting a product. So many skin care products,makeup products and so on have SPF in them.You probably already have products with SPF that you don’t know.
This post is mainly for my Naija folks.Most people don’t have an idea what sunscreen is and the importance of it.Some people know but don’t take it seriously. It’s really sad. Myself I just knew all about it a few years ago,after the damaged has been done.Believe me when I say most people I know have no idea what sunscreen is about up until now. Personally all my day time moisturizer have either SPF 15 or 30,but my night-time skin products don’t have SPF.. So I hope this helps.
Have a blessed day guys..