SPF 101

SPF 101

Memorial Day marks the beginning of Summer- so let’s review our sunscreen facts so we can safely enjoy that summer sunshine! 

What does “SPF” mean? 

SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. This indicates the level of protection against UVB or burning rays.  Sunscreen with a higher SPF offers more protection against UVB rays. 

What does “Broad Spectrum” mean? 

Broad Spectrum is the term used in the USA to indicate both UVA and UVB rays are being protected against.  UVA rays are aging rays that are responsible for sun spots and the breakdown of collagen. UVB rays are burning rays, these are responsible for the sun burn. So make sure your sunscreen says Broad Spectrum so you are protected against both UV rays! 

What does the number after SPF mean? 

The number after SPF indicates the amount of UV rays that are filtered.  

  • SPF 2 blocks 50% of UV rays
  • SPF 4 blocks 75% of UV rays
  • SPF 10 blocks 90% of UV rays
  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays
  • SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays

Unfortunately, no SPF blocks 100% of UV rays. Based on your exposure to the sun, it's important to pick the right level of protection. 

Why do I need to reapply? 

SPF needs to be reapplied because the even layer of sunscreen naturally breaks down from sweating, rubbing against our clothes, and the natural oils of our skin. By reapplying, at least every 2 hours, you can ensure your sunscreen is maintaining its effectiveness. 

Enjoy the sun this summer- use a Broad Spectrum SPF and reapply every 2 hours!

Thank you for reading! 

This article of the Skinsider Scoop was graciously written by Kelsey Hayden, Licensed Esthetician and Research & Development Project Manager at Clean Skin Club and edited by the Clean Skin Club team. If you're interested in more from Kelsey, please shoot us an email, and follow her on Instagram @kelseyaesthetics