Archive for September 8th, 2007

What Does SPF mean?

September 8, 2007

While in Vienna, my wife always remind me to put on a sunscreen for my face.  It is always a struggle because I hate putting stuff on my face.  But being exposed to the sun with the travels and the dry weather, I obliged.  But what SPF is important to protect our skin?

We all know that sunscreens have long been promoted extensively against skin cancer.  However, it is reported that skin cancer rates continue to creep up, at about 3 percent a year according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most likely because people ignore warnings and still bask themselves in the sun!  But most likely too, these people are protecting themselves with sunscreen…so what is wrong?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the present time only allows manufacturers to only market products with a Sun Pretection Factor or SPF 30-plus on their labels, since they believe that any higher value is misleading to consumers. The belief that sunscreen is all you need to ward off the bad effects of the sun is apparently wrong.  Likewise the belief that the higher the SPF the better protection because it can last longer is also questioned.

It is advised that if you know you will burn under UV exposure in 10 minutes and you use the product with an SPF of 15 then the protection using this sunscreen will last for 150 minutes or 2 1/2 hours.  The problem is… in reality this is not so because, the sunscreen wears off with sweat or can be rub off easily after a dip in the water.  Be aware therefore that the protection you get is less than what you think. 

So, per guidelines… the recommendation is :

  • aim for a product with an SPF of 15 or higher.  But remember that the higher the SPF, the higher the protection agianst UV BUT not necessarily LONGER in protection!
  • Re apply the lotion after 30 min to 1 hour under the sun unless you dont sweat at all!  And more frequently if you swim.

There you go…. now after this post… I will follow my wife’s advise and try to use sunsscreen everyday.  But more so I guess to protect my face from early wrinkles.  So guys… protect your face will a daily sunscreen before it’s too late!

Daily Sunscreen For Baby Face!