• Daily Tips
  • Try to get out in the sun before 10am and/or after 4pm.

Understanding SPF in Sun Safety Products

 

There are many ways to stay safe while enjoying the beautiful sunny days ahead. Top recommendations from sun safety experts include wearing wide-brimmed hats and avoiding the peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Of course, using a sunscreen also ranks high among top ways for your family to stay safe. Experts suggest that every family member over six months of age wear sunscreen. But how do you know which sunscreen and what level of SPF protection you should get?

The best sunscreens will offer broad spectrum protection. This means they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

When looking at sunscreen, you’ll notice they are rated by SPF. This stands for sun protection factor. This is a unit of measurement that tells you how well a sunscreen product will guard against UVB rays. However, there’s no way that UVA protection is currently rated.

Picking The Best Sunscreen

The SPF number tells how how long it will take skin treated with the product to burn vs. skin that’s been left untreated. Most experts in the field say that a product with an SPF greater than 30 should be used by all members of the family older than 6 months old. However, there’s no solid agreement among dermatologists on the ideal SPF number.

According to top experts at the Mayo Clinic, it’s hard to know which SPF is the “best.” For example, a product with a rating of 60 SPF may be better than one rated 30 SPF, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Take note that the 60 SPF probably isn’t twice as effective as the 30 SPF sun safety product.

All of this can add up to a confusing conundrum for consumers. Sunscreens may not be applied evenly or in a thick enough manner. You may sweat it off or it may get washed away in the water. Therefore, it’s important to apply often and follow the directions on the bottle.

Happy Sun Safety!
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