The Scoop on SPF Part One: SPF Basics


August 13, 2018

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As a teenager, I never gave much thought about sun protection. My mom was always yelling at me to get out of the sun, but I would lay out for hours trying to get the perfect tan. Turns out, mom’s always right. Did you know that 90% of signs of aging are due to sun damage? Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to reverse what’s already been done, but today I’m sharing all there is to know about SPF and some SPF tips to prevent premature aging. Let’s start with a little background about the sun’s rays and how they relate to us.

facts about the sun

facts about the sun

+ the sunlight that reaches us is made up of UVA and UVB rays, both of which are harmful without sun protection

+ UVB rays cause sunburns

+ UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, causing visible signs of aging and discoloration

+ the sun’s rays are the strongest from 10AM-2PM

+ sun rays can still penetrate your skin on a cloudy day

+ exposure to sun rays can lead to skin damage, skin cancer, and premature skin aging

sun protection factor (SPF)

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably under the sun a lot, especially in the summer. Although good for your soul and Vitamin D levels, exposing yourself to too much sun can be harmful. Therefore, it’s important to learn about effective UV protection.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures the level of UVB (sunburn) protection a product will give you. All sunscreen products protect you from UVB rays, but what about those UVA rays? Well, in order for your sunscreen to protect against both UVB and UVA rays, it must be broad spectrum. So if your sunscreen is not labeled as “broad spectrum” then you are most likely not being protected from UVA rays.

SPF tips to prevent premature aging

+ wear sunscreen everyday, even when it’s gloomy

+ always put sunscreen on after skincare and before makeup

+ make sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day

+ be mindful of the ingredients in your sunscreen

+ look for products with zinc oxide

+ use self tanner instead of sitting out to tan

In the next two parts of this post, I’ll talk about the two types of sunscreen and which SPF products will be best for your specific needs. In the meantime, you can also check out my post on how to get healthy summer skin.

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