Summer is officially here, and that means plenty of fun in the sun. Everyone knows if you plan to spend time in the sun, you need to wear sun protection. Here at Preferred Chiropractic, we care about helping you achieve true health, and that includes taking care of your skin. You might think that when choosing sunscreen, you should go for the highest number you can find. However, there are some guidelines to help you find the right strength of sunscreen, and we are here to point you in the right direction.
What Do The Numbers Mean?
You know that SPF that is on the sunscreen bottle? Well, it stand for sun protection factor. The SPF helps shield your skin from UVB rays, which are the rays that penetrate the surface of the skin and cause sunburn. On the other hand are UVA rays, which can penetrate your skin on a deeper level, so it is important to select a sunscreen that is full spectrum, meaning it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just 20 minutes in the sun can burn your skin. The number following the SPF on the bottle of sunscreen determines the tip, multiplied by 20, that the sunscreen can protect your skin from getting burned. Think of it this way — if you wear SPF 30, it should theoretically protect your skin for 10 hours.
Now, that isn’t actually the case as we sweat and swim when wearing sunscreen, which diminishes the amount of time it can actually protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
What Is The Strength?
Perhaps an easier way to figure out what SPF you should be using is to determine the strength of the sunscreen. Read the bottle carefully before purchasing to see what extent the strength protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and this is particularly important for those that are fair-skinned. Just remember that the sunscreen should have a higher SPF and that it is broad spectrum.
Where Do I Apply?
Another determining factor of the effectiveness of sunscreen is where you apply it. You face and chest will have the most exposure, so you may want to bump up to an SPF higher than 30 for added protection. Don’t forget your ears, back of the neck, top of your feet, and even the back of your hands.
When it comes to your overall health and wellness, your skin shouldn’t go ignored. It is the body’s largest organ, after all! For more health and wellness tips, just ask during your next appointment. Click here to request an appointment!