Wearing sunscreen every day is pretty much the best thing you can do for your skin. So why do so many people skip the most important step in their skincare routine? For many people, it’s all based on a misunderstanding on the definition of SPF and confusion around how to choose the right sunscreen for your skin. So if you’re wondering “What SPF should I use?”, keep reading!
What Does SPF Stand For?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it measures how long a product protects your skin from sunburn under ideal conditions. For example, if your skin starts to burn after 10 minutes in the sun, then a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 would protect your skin 15 times longer than your bare skin, for 150 minutes of sun protection.
Of course, those measurements are created in a lab under ideal conditions. In reality, external factors like sweat, sand, and surf can affect how well your sunscreen works. That’s why most suncare experts recommend reapplying your sunscreen every two hours, even if you’re wearing SPF 50+.
What SPF Should I Use?
In general, using a higher SPF is better. An SPF of 50 allows only 2% of UVB rays to reach your skin, which an SPF of 30 allows 3%. That may not sound like a lot, until you consider that’s a 50% difference!
You also want to make sure that your sunscreen is broad spectrum, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause skin cancer and sunburn, while UVA rays contribute to premature aging as well as sunburn. That’s why it’s so important to use a sunscreen that protects against both.
Our pick for the best sunscreen is our aptly-named Perfect Sunscreen, which has an SPF of 50+. Perfect Sunscreen uses four different active sunscreen ingredients to provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Plus, Perfect Sunscreen contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like acai fruit and green tea extract that protect the skin against free radicals, both from the sun and other environmental aggressors (air pollution, we’re looking at you). We formulated Perfect Sunscreen with a special polymer technology that helps the sunscreen stay put, providing maximum skin protection. And since Perfect Sunscreen has a lightweight, non-greasy feel, there are truly no excuses to skip this important step in your skincare routine!