What SPF is needed to be safe in the sun and how much Sunscreen should we use? (extract from my blog post- Useful facts to know about sun protection. For babies, children and adults.
is a great deal of consumer confusion regarding the ‘SPF’ of ‘sunscreens. It is important to know that ‘SPF’ which means Sun Protection Factor relates
only to protection from UV-B and NOT UV-A.
A Sunscreen is a physical shield
that can only give a partial degree of protection from both UVA and UVB by
scattering, reflecting or absorbing some of the Ultra Violet radiation
we’re being exposed to. Sunscreens will never provide total protection
and it can be dangerous to put our trust in only using Sunscreens. This
is why the addition of other Sun Protection practices such as slowly
increasing daily sun exposure, topical and dietary antioxidants, UV
protective clothing and shade is so important.
The SPF number on
‘sunscreens’ is also misleading because the number given to the
protection factor is not as important as the quality of the product
along with other precautions taken such as the number of times a product
is applied and the thickness the product is applied. For very fair skin
2 thick layers of a quality mineral sunscreen is needed to give
protection and in general, a mineral sunscreen needs to contain between
20-30% Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide or a combination of the two.
recent study showed that SPF 15 product when used properly, screens
about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product screens 97% of UVB rays; and an
SPF 45 product screens about 98% of rays. UVA will still be getting
through so SPF numbers don’t mean we’re ‘protected’, although SPF 30 is
the rating most sun care professionals agree on is the best one to use. http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/high-spf-
♥ Remember. When you apply sunscreen it will also interfere with your skin's ability to synthesise Vitamin D so it's a good idea to make sure your skin gets a daily minimum amount of time in the sun between 10am and 4pm between April and September (UK latitude) without a sunscreen. This Vitamin D Calculator may be able to help.