SPF, as many of you may not know, stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is a number assigned to the sunscreen to measure how well the product will protect the skin from the UVB rays. There are many sunscreen and sunblock products to choose from including lotions, sprays, gels, roll on and even foaming. So, it can be confusing to choose one and determine how often you should use it.
First of all, sunscreen should be worn year-round, even in cold weather, on the surface of any visible skin such as your face. It is important to protect your face because damage from the sun includes cancer and premature aging. At Shira Esthetics, we have our sunblock with an SPF 30. You can check it out here: https://shiraesthetics.com/sun-care-spf30.html We have other moisturizers with SPF including the Shir-Radiance Ester-C Collagen Moisturizer and our day creams in the Omega-3 line.
It’s All About the Numbers
The numbers associated with SPF levels are for letting consumers know how much protection from the sun they are receiving.
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
UVA and UVB rays
UVA rays are long-wave Ultra-Violet and UVB are short-wave Ultra Violet rays. UVB rays can burn into top layers of skin, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, which is the thickest layer of the skin.
Keeping your skin unprotected can cause premature skin aging, wrinkling, and may even suppress your immune system. Specifically, UVB rays will burn your skin’s superficial layers, which then puts you at a greater risk of developing skin cancer. When it all comes down to it, sunburned skin doesn’t just feel awful – it can cause even greater damage to your overall health.
Sunscreen vs Sunblock
While both sunscreen and sunblock may be used interchangeably in reference to sun protection lotions and sprays, there is actually a difference. Sunscreen uses different ingredients than sunblock. The ingredients in sunscreen are absorbed into the skin and literally “screen” the skin from the sun and reflect the rays while sunblock forms a barrier closer to the surface of the skin and “block” the rays from damaging the skin. The ingredients used in a sunblock typically include minerals and natural ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
You will see many sunscreens with high SPF like 75 or 100. Those actually aren’t any more effective than SPF 50. Consumers assume they are getting way more protection from SPF 100 so they tend to stay out in the strong sun longer, and/or apply additional sun protection less often. In the long run, this can lead to more damage to your skin. Stick to SPF 40 or 50 and remember to re-apply!
It is also important to remember the need to protect your lips. Lips and ears are areas of the body often forgotten. They make special lip balms with SPF that are ideal for protecting your lips.
Shira is great for all your skin care needs including organic skin care products online. To learn more about all of our great products that will help keep your skin protected, please feel free to browse our site!