Monday, June 4, 2012

What Does Sunscreen SPF Really Mean?

Guest post from Tyler Porteous, Coola Suncare

What are sunscreen SPF values? SPF stands for sun protection factor. The number value of SPF classifies a sunscreen's ability to deflect UVB rays (the kind of rays that cause sunburns). A sunscreen's SPF value is measured based on the extra amount of time sunscreen-protected skin is able to withstand sun exposure before burning. For example, without sun protection, a person may burn after 10 minutes in the sun. If the same person were to apply a sunscreen with SPF 20 protection, he or she would be to stay in the sun for 20 times longer, or 200 minutes, before experiencing a burn. However, it's important to know that as you use increasing levels of SPF, the amount of UV protection you receive does not increase at the same rate: raising SPF from 20 to 45 will only provide you with 2.8% more UV protection. Be sure to do an SPF check when choosing your sunscreen, it should have a minimum of SPF 15 to provide effective protection in the sun. For more, visit our natural sunscreen and repellents resources page.

Image courtesy Coola Suncare

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