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We all may have heard the saying, "Vitamin D is good for the skin". And majority of us may also associate Vitamin D with sunlight. We all want nice glowing skin, and a good tan. And we also look forward to spending our vacay with bae laying out by the beach. However, too much sun is not a good thing, especially if the skin is unprotected. But we know this right? Right! So we head to the store and down the aisle of sunscreen only to find a variety of brands labeled with either SPF 15, 30, 50 and even 100?! We then ask, "Which one do I choose?". Everyone has their own opinion for what is the right or wrong choice. Some think SPF 100 is better than SPF 30. Some say SPF 75 is the right choice because of this or that. Well, let's block out all of the noise and take a real look at SPF…
Let's get Technical…
Sunscreen, sunblock, sun cream, and sun tan lotion are among the many names we use for SPF. But what does it really mean? SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is the measure of the amount of sunburn producing UV rays that actually reaches the skin. That's where the levels of 15, 30, and 50 comes into play. For example, if used as recommended, SPF 15 simply means that 1/15 of all burning rays will make contact with the skin. It also means that SPF 30 = 1/30 and SPF 50 = 1/50. If we go by this theory then the higher the number the better because it blocks more rays, right? Well let's take another look at the numbers. Let's let you be the judge….
So based off of these facts, again one would be lead to believe the higher the number the better. If this is the case, we should all wear SPF 100!?! Well, not necessarily. Because it is not possible to block 100% of UV rays. So there's really no need to wear a SPF level higher than 50. Since there is only a 1% difference between 30 and 50, there is no right or wrong with either one. Now let's talk about the amount of time spent in the sun. I personally wear SPF 30 and I also recommend it to my clients for use on a day to day basis. However, if you do plan to spend longer periods of time in the sun, then SPF 50 is more beneficial than 30, any extra protection certainly doesn't hurt. Got it? Good!
So then why all the levels? In MY OPINION any level higher than 50 is simply a marketing strategy. These levels are on the shelves, especially during peak seasons, to lead you to believe a higher level will lead to more protection. We are then more likely to buy the higher levels thinking more is better. And as we've just seen, that’s not entirely the case.