A common question we receive (especially at the start of Summer) is: “How much SPF do I really need?”
Some may think that the higher the SPF, the better the product. In our explorations, this is not necessarily the case. Let us explain...
What is SPF?
SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how long a sunscreen will protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
What is UV?
According to SkinCancer.Org:
“UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. On the electromagnetic
spectrum, UV light has shorter wavelengths than visible light, so your eyes can’t see UV, but
your skin can feel it. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation.
Two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk for skin cancer:
- Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, and is associated with skin aging.
- Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning.
While UVA and UVB rays differ in how they affect the skin, they both do harm. Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB damages the DNA in skin cells, producing genetic defects, or mutations, that can lead to skin cancer (as well as premature aging.)”
UVB rays, while necessary for our bodies to produce Vitamin D, are also responsible for sunburns and damage to the outermost layer of the skin.
How much SPF do I need?
Studies have shown that SPF 30 protects against 97% of UVB rays (allowing 3% through), while SPF 50 shields about 98% (allowing 2% through).
With such a minimal difference in protection, the biological need for UVB on the skin to create Vitamin D, and our desire for elegant wear with or without makeup, we feel SPF 30 offers ideal sun care.
In this article, Dr. Steven Q. Wang discusses how much SPF is necessary for proper protection.
“Products with very high SPFs often create a false sense of security. People who use them tend to stay
out in the sun much longer. They may skip reapplying. And they may think they don’t need to seek
shade, wear a hat or cover up with clothing. They end up getting a lot more UV damage, which, of
course, defeats the purpose.”
Another great article from Harvard University addresses the importance of Vitamin D and the lifestyle factors that can impact your production of this essential vitamin.
“Your body makes vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin...It starts when the skin absorbs rays in the
invisible ultraviolet B (UVB) part of the light spectrum.”
An SPF for Glowing Skin
Our Pot of Shade: Heliotropic is a Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30. The unique zinc-only formula applies as a translucent veil and offers you protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Because the formula does not block all UV rays, UVB is still able to kiss your skin for Vitamin D production.
If you have additional questions about how to include Pot of Shade: Heliotropic in your sun care routine, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Sunning Gorgeous!