sun care and self tanning What Level SPF Should I Choose?

Question: What level SPF should I use?

Skin Expert Answer: When it comes to SPF, the sun protection factor, available in a sunscreen there are many options ranging from 2 to 50+. This number relates to the sunscreen’s ability to block harmful UV rays, UVB and UVA radiation from the sun. The simple answer: Go for sunscreens with as little as SPF 15 and as high as SPF 50 to maintain protected, healthy skin.

A sunscreen with SPF 15 will absorb 93 percent of UV radiation, SPF 30 will absorb 97 percent and SPF 50 will absorb 98 percent. Perhaps as important as the level of sun protection is what form of UV rays it protects against. Some sunscreens only block UVB radiation, which will prevent sunburn, but won’t block UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles. Sunscreens that will protect you from both forms of UV rays will be labeled with multi spectrum, broad spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection, like Advanced Suncare Clear Cool Lotion SPF 30.

Additionally, when choosing a sunscreen it’s especially important to distinguish your needs if you are going to be in a situation where you will be sweating or swimming for a prolonged period of time. Water-resistant sunscreen maintains its SPF level 40 to 80 minutes after water exposure; after that time has expired you should reapply it to your skin.

At some point in the day you will most likely find yourself outside, or indoors as the sun’s rays can pass through glass windows and reach your skin, so it really should become a necessary part of your daily skin care routine. Apply sunscreen under your makeup and at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Many foundations, tinted moisturizers, day creams and even facial oils, like Age Perfect® Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil with SPF 30,have SPF. Remember to cover all parts of your skin that may be exposed to the sun; that includes your lips, ears, neck, chest, backs of your hands and tops of your feet if you’ll be wearing sandals.

Getting in the habit of applying – and reapplying – sunscreen is definitely a must-do step in maintaining healthy skin. However, you can also wear hats, look for shade and wear lightweight scarves or shawls to protect your neck and chest.

SPF protection is an essential component of preserving and maintaining healthy skin. So cover up and protect your skin to keep it youthful and healthy for the years to come.