Understanding the Science of Sun Protection
SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful UVB rays that are responsible for sunburn and contribute to skin cancer. UVB rays are not the only culprits, though; UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin, causing premature aging. A broad-spectrum sunscreen guards against both UVA and UVB rays, and integrating it into your skincare is not just for aesthetic effect but a health imperative.
The Number Game Decoded
SPF 15: Blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30: Blocks approximately 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50: Blocks approximately 98% of UVB rays
While the difference in percentages may seem marginal, it can be significant, especially if you are fair-skinned, have a history of skin cancer, or suffer from heightened sensitivity to sunlight.
Mastering the Application
How much and how often? Using an insufficient amount of sunscreen will diminish the level of protection. As a general rule, you should use about a shot glass’ worth (two tablespoons) for your entire body and a nickel-sized dollop for your face. Then reapply at least every two hours, and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating, and your skin will get the best protection SPF can give you!
Our skin's needs are just as diverse as anything else about us. If your skin is sensitive, opt for sunscreens with physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they are less likely to irritate the skin. For oily skin, water-based sunscreens are a viable option.
A Holistic Approach
An SPF addition to your skincare is a critical sun-protection act. But is there anything else we can do to protect ourselves?
Clothing is your first line of defense against the sun. Embrace sun protective clothing & look for items with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating; a UPF of 50 allows just 1/50th of the sun’s rays to reach your skin.
Give yourself a regular antioxidant boost! Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E neutralize free radicals formed through exposure to UVA and UVB. Incorporating a topical antioxidant serum under your sunscreen (like our MultiVitamin C+ Serum) adds an extra layer of protection and can also repair your skin. Not to mention it will lighten pigmentation and improve your skin's firmness.
Do UV rays take a winter break? Definitely not. Snow, sand, and water reflect them, and we can still get burnt even on cloudy days. Sunscreen is an all-season, all-weather bestie.
Beyond the Surface: Nutrition's Role
Dietary choices can also support your sun protection goals. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids found in carrots and lycopene in tomatoes, can bolster your skin’s defense against sun damage. What's better than a protection that tastes amazing?
The Bottom Line?
Incorporating a broad-spectrum sunscreen into your daily regimen is a fundamental step to a complete skincare routine. By understanding the science behind SPF, making informed choices, and adopting a holistic approach to sun protection, you will create an effective shield against the lovely, yet treacherous sun rays and pave the way for skin that is resilient just as it is radiant!
EXPLORE SPF COLLECTION