"SPF" is a word we throw around a lot, but how many of us really know what it means? Today, we're going to break it all down for you—how exactly the sun's rays harm us, and how to choose the right sunscreen.
Different types of UV rays
Did you know that there are multiple different types of UV rays, and that they all cause different kinds of damage to skin? Yep!
UVA rays cause genetic damage to your skin, and also have an immuno-suppressive effect (meaning that they suppress your immune system).
UVB rays cause wrinkles, blotchiness, other forms of ageing, sunburn, and most importantly, skin cancer.
UVC rays are the most dangerous of them all, but thankfully the Earth's atmosphere filters them out!
How to pick a sunscreen
There are usually three strengths of sunscreen you can find (although there are some brands who make sunscreens of numbers in between): SPF 15, 30, and 50.
15 is actually way too little protection, as scientists recommend that one should use a minimum protection of SPF 30.
So when should you use the super strong SPF 50? If you have exceptionally sensitive skin that burns easily, have a family history of skin cancer, or have a lot of moles, this one's for you!
Otherwise, you can stick to using an SPF of between 30 and 45.
When to use sunscreen
Make sure to apply it 30 minutes before you step out into the sun. And make sure to wear sunscreen even if it's a cloudy day outside, as there are still harmful rays out there!
Ideally, we should wear sunscreen everyday.
And don't forget to be generous with the amount you use, or the sunscreen won't provide adequate protection!
Photo Credit: Fashion Gone Rogue, Pinterest
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