SPF is an abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor. This refers to the theoretical time duration within which you can be out in the sun without any repercussions. The SPF of a product could range from 15 – 100 so if a product has an SPF 15, that means that if you planned to stay in the sun for an hour, the protection you SPF 15 sunscreen gives you would keep you protected 15 times more than you would have been without.
Please stay with me.
This post here by ThisisGlamorous perfectly explains how SPF works:
‘… SPF 30 sunscreens block 96.7 percent of UVB radiation (rays that cause sunburn), while SPF 15 sunscreens block 93 percent. Anything higher than SPF 30, and the amount of extra protection from UVB rays is marginal—for instance, sunscreens with SPF 50 block 98 percent, while those with SPF 100 block 99 percent. For this reason, dermatologists recommend that an SPF 30 sunscreen should be sufficient.’
That pretty much sums this post on SPF. it is important to reapply sunscreen or your other SPF 30 (at least) products as you go so a good option is to have a small tub(e) of sunscreen in your bag. Labels would often advise on the frequency of application so bear in mind to read them.
As earlier mentioned, always aim to go for sunscreen with SPF 30 at least (many other products like powders, foundations etc could be less since you would have the sunscreen on before applying those anyway.). Ensure to check and read the label for broad-spectrum sun protection, anything else offers partial protection. In addition, an ingredient to look out for is zinc oxide which blocks toxic rays.
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