SPF for Your National Holiday

This is a holiday weekend and most people like myself enjoy being in the great outdoors soaking up some sun. As the adventures this weekend begin keep in mind that you need to keep your skin protected. The sun is a beautiful thing, but not so kind to our skin. That golden glow can still be obtained with the right protection.

UV radiation reaches the earth in the form of UVB and UVA rays. UVB radiation plays a key role in skin cancer, and SPF refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection a sunscreen offers. Thus, higher SPF’s can help. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB radiation, an SPF 30 blocks nearly 97%, and an SPF 45 blocks about 98%. Most will recommend an SPF 30 as the higher SPF’s are blocking only a minimal amount more UVB rays.

Many consumers are confused by SPF as they believe an SPF 30 blocks twice as much as an SPF 15, but as you see above that is not true. The SPF 30 blocks only 4% more UVB than the SPF 15. The higher SPF may protect against long-term sun damage and exposure related skin cancers. Although, there is not any SPF that will protect 100% against those intense rays.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you step out into the sun and reapply every two hours or so. If you get into the water or sweat, you need to reapply then and not wait for the two hour mark. Best to air on the side of caution and apply more often than not. Your epidermis replaces itself every 27 days, but the dermis layer below is what we are protecting to prevent a second degree burn. The dermis layer regenerates at a much slower rate than the epidermis, so lather on that sunscreen and keep lathering all day. Enjoy the fun in the sun this 4th of July! Read more on proper sunscreen use HERE

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