The more SPF, the better it is, isn’t it?

Talking about sunscreen, many people may choose from the brands or the SPF number, but do you ever wonder what SPF number means. Is it true that the more SPF number, the better. How to choose a sunscreen that matches with its usage the most. Lrt’s find out.

What do SPF and PA numbers in sunscreen mean?

SPF (Sunburn Protection Factor) is a UVB radiation protection (UVB) level value specifying a numerical capability value. The number that follows the SPF represents the duration of UVB protection. Normally, the higher the number is, the longer we stay in the sun before sunburn occurs. Another value that usually comes with SPF is the PA (Protection grade of UVA). It serves as a protection against radiation in part where SPF does not completely protect because SPF only protects against UVB radiation but PA is the protection against UVA radiation. The + sign that follows also means the higher the UVA radiation protection efficiency, the more +, the more efficiency.

Is it true that the more SPF value, the better?

It’s true that high SPF sunscreens will protect our skin from sunlight longer, but choosing a sunscreen should not only look at SPF values, other factors should be considered as being appropriate for our use. For example, 

  • If working in the office or working in the shade which is barely exposed to the sun, using sunscreen with an SPF of 10 – 15 is enough.
  • If there is some outdoor activity during the day, use sunscreen with SPF greater than or equal to 15.
  • If you live outdoors a lot or you have allergic or sun-sensitive diseases. Use sunscreen with SPF greater than or equal to 30.
  • Sunscreen should be applied about 15 – 30 minutes before leaving the building. Use about 2 knuckles of your finger of cream on your face and neck.
  • If you have to work in the sun, sweat a lot, or get hit with water often, apply sunscreen every few hours.

Is it harmful to use sunscreen frequently?

Although sunscreen protects our skin from the sun, it also has disadvantages. If you apply sunscreen too often, it can cause side effects. For example, 

  • Sunscreen stains on clothes (only sunscreens containing amino acid benzoic or para-amino benzoic acid)
  • Pimple
  • Reduce skin vitamin D production. Sunscreen users may eat foods with vitamin D or vitamin supplements to supplement their body’s vitamin D.
  • Skin allergies are easier, irritation or redness on the skin. Because sunscreens contain certain ingredients that make it easy for the skin to be allergic to substances. Wash them off and stop using them as well as consult a doctor or pharmacist to choose sunscreen or other sun protection products instead.

The SPF value is just one factor used in the selection of sunscreen, but it does not necessarily mean that we have to choose sunscreen with the highest SPF value on the market. It should be chosen in accordance with daily life. In addition, sunscreen does not completely protect the skin from UV rays. Other methods should be used to protect the skin such as an umbrella or a hat will help protect the skin more effectively.

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