What effect do different sun protection factors (SPF) in sun protection products have on skin protection?

The sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreen products indicates how well the product can protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Here are the effects of different SPF values on skin protection:

  1. SPF 15:
  • Provides basic protection and blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays.
  • Suitable for daily use in less sun-exposed environments.
  1. SPF 30:
  • Provides moderate protection and blocks about 97% of UVB rays.
  • Recommended for everyday use and outdoor activities.
  1. SPF 50:
  • Provides higher protection and blocks approximately 98% of UVB rays.
  • Suitable for longer periods outdoors and for people with fair or sensitive skin.
  1. SPF 50+ or higher:
  • Provides the highest protection and blocks approximately 99% of UVB rays.
  • Recommended for people at high risk of skin cancer or during prolonged exposure to intense sun.

Important points to note:

  • The increase in SPF does not correlate linearly with protection. For example, SPF 30 does not offer twice as much protection as SPF 15.
  • SPF mainly refers to protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. Broad-spectrum sun protection also protects against UVA rays, which can contribute to skin ageing and skin cancer.
  • Protection depends on correct application. You should use enough sunscreen (about 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin) and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Additional protective measures such as wearing sun hats, sunglasses and protective clothing are also important to protect the skin from UV radiation.

Choosing the right SPF depends on your skin type, the duration of sun exposure and your individual needs. It is advisable to choose a sufficiently high SPF and to apply sun protection practices consistently to protect the health of your skin.

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