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What you need to know about your SPF

Kristin Baughman, Editor-in-Chief

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Summer is quickly approaching, which means plenty of the fun in the sun. While looking to stock up on your favorite SPF for the summer, this is what you need to keep in mind.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF), is a relative measurement of the amount of a time a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The leading cause of sunburn is the damage done to the skin’s outer layer by UVB rays.

Calculating the amount of sunscreen needed is done by multiplying the amount of time it would take for someone to burn without sunscreen by the SPF of the product. For example, if it normally takes a person 20 minutes to burn, and it utilizing a SPF 15, the person could stay in the sun for 300 minutes (5 hours).

However, after that 5 hours is reached, it is recommend to seek shade rather than apply more sunscreen.

To get the most out of your sunscreen, make sure to have a broad spectrum SPF, which protects against UVB and UVA rays.

A sunscreen cannot block all UVB rays. A SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 99 percent, according to consumerreports.com.

To apply the correct amount of sunscreen, make sure a teaspoon is applied to each part of the body: one teaspoon for the face, head and neck; one for each arm, one for each leg, one for the chest and abdomen and one for the back and the neck.

 

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What you need to know about your SPF