There are so many choices when it comes to sunscreen. Not only are there a sea of competing brands, but there are also many different levels of SPF. SPF stands for sun protection factor and is a measure of how long it would take your skin to burn from ultraviolet (UV) rays. The sun emits invisible UVA and UVB rays that burn and damage the skin, even on cloudy or rainy days.
Keep reading to learn which SPF sunscreen is the best and why.
Learn which SPF sunscreen is the best
It’s important to choose a sunscreen that will provide you with the best protection, which largely depends on your skin tone and how quickly your skin burns without any protection. If you’ll be outside all day at the park, pool, beach or amusement park, SPF 30 or higher is ideal, but which sunscreen is better, SPF 30 or 50?
A product with a higher SPF shields the skin from more of the sun’s harmful rays, but the protection does not increase exponentially as the rating goes up. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 30 will protect you from approximately 97% of the sun’s UVB rays (the type of ray that causes sunburn), while SPF 50 will protect you from approximately 98% if you reapply at least as often as indicated on the bottle. While the difference between SPF 15 and 30 is significant, the difference between 30 and 50 is minute, but if you have a history with sunburns or skin cancer, every little bit of protection helps.
What else should I look for in a sunscreen?
Here are a few important things you should consider when choosing a sunscreen:
- Look for the words ‘broad-spectrum’
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Many sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, which are the rays that cause sunburn, but you are still exposed to UVA rays, which penetrate your skin more deeply and can cause cell damage.
- Choose SPF 30 or higher
If in doubt, go higher. It’s always better to choose a higher SPF to get as much protection as possible. Keep in mind, however, that the difference between SPF 30 and 50 (or higher) is slight.
- Select a water-resistant sunscreen
If you’re planning to be in the pool, lake or ocean, select a water-resistant SPF so you can stay protected at all times.
The specialists at Emerald Coast Urgent Care have the skill and expertise to treat your sunburned skin and help you get relief fast. Walk-ins welcome 7 days a week, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.