"67% of people mistakenly assume that SPF 30 sunscreen provides twice the protection of SPF 15"
This was according to a recent survey conducted by American Academy of Dermatology involving more than 1,000 U.S. Adults. This is a proof that most of us choose a sunscreen with a high SPF number, believing that it offers the best protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Yet experts has warned the public that this is widespread misinformation.
To settle this debate, I have interviewed Linda, our Toxic-Free certified® manufacturer with over 35 years of experience in Skin Histology, to breakdown 3 burning questions about SPF.
IS SPF THE LENGTH OR THE STRENGTH?
Sun Protection Factor, also known as SPF, carefully measures how much longer you can remain under the sun before you get minimal sun burn. It requires lab testing called Minimal Erythema Dose conducted under controlled conditions.
For example, it takes 10 minutes before you burn without any protection. If you applied a sunscreen with SPF 25, it then takes 25x longer or approximately 250 minutes to burn vs when you don't apply at all. Therefore higher SPF is NOT an indicator of stronger protection.
After all, sun protection products was first created to reduce sunburns, which are caused by UVB Rays. However, as experts research expanded, we now know that UV rays does not only cause sunburn—it can also lead to other issues such as rapid aging, damage, and cancer.
But it's important to note that SPF typically does not measure deep-penetrating UVA radiation, the culprit behind wrinkles, freckles, and sun spots. In fact, the US has no labeling system that tells consumers how much UVA protection they're getting (or not) in a sunscreen. This is why the SPF rating alone shouldn't be your basis in selecting sunscreen.
HOW IS HIGHER SPF DANGEROUS?
Contrary to popular belief, you won't get twice as much protection from SPF 50 sunscreen as from SPF 25. Properly applied SPF 25 sunscreen already blocks 96% UV Rays, just 2% away from SPF 50 that blocks 98% UV Rays. And even the highest SPF sunscreen won’t protect you when it wears off due to improper application, sweat, water exposure, and other elements. Therefore the extra protection is negligible.
There are 3 RISKS associated with using HIGHER SPF:
- Has higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals. Most of these ingredients have been linked to potential tissue damage, hormone disruption, allergies, and other health risks.
- The ratio of UVA Protection decreases as the SPF number increased. This leads to higher risk of skin cancer, exposure to free radicals, and a weaker immunity system. To ensure that you're getting equal protection, make sure to look for BROAD SPECTRUM Sunscreens.
- Creates a false sense of security which misleads people into STAYING OUT in the sun longer and SKIPPING REAPPLICATION, overexposing themselves to the harmful UV rays.
WHICH SPF SHOULD I USE?
Since it's recommended to reapply at least every 2 hours, "using an SPF 25 is absolutely a perfect coverage for everyday use", Linda says.
To watch the full interview and learn more about sun protection, aging, which sunscreen is safe, and the correct application, play this video below:
And if you're looking for a TOXIC-FREE® Broad Spectrum Mineral SPF 25 Sunscreen that drip feeds anti-aging nutrients into your skin for collagen production, click HERE to be redirected! Use code LEI15 for 15% off.
Remember that for the best overall sun protection, we can't rely on just sunscreen. We still need to take extra care for our skin by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and repairing damage from within. ☀ 🕶
Till next time my Amber Babies! Please don't forget to subscribe and follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok 🥳