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Does SPF Matter?

woman with sunscreen

What is SPF?

SPF (sun protection factor) is a number that lets you know how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned. If you apply sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 and you start to burn after 10 minutes in full sun with no protection, you’ll now have 30 times longer before you burn, or 300 minutes.

What SPF Should I Use?

You should wear sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 for everyday use and consider using an SPF 50 if you’re outside for long periods of time. In addition, your sunscreen should also be water-resistant and provide broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Can I Get a Tan with SPF 50?

You will still tan if you wear sunscreen. However, wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 will increase the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning.

What Sunscreen is Best at Blocking UV Light?

To block both types of UV rays- UVA and UVB, you’ll need to look for a sunscreen that has “broad-screen protection” on the bottle. You can look at the SPF factor to see how effective your sunscreen is at preventing sunburn that’s caused by UVB rays. However, you’ll need to pay attention to the ingredient list to check for UVA protection. You'll want to see one or more of the following:

  • Ecamsule
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Zinc Oxide

How Long does SPF 50 Last?

SPF numbers are based on how much protection sunscreen provides for two hours. It’s important to note that if you’re sweating or are in the water, you will need to reapply more often. In addition, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right amount to get two hours of protection. This means applying about 1 ounce which is approximately the amount in a shot glass to cover your body.

Does SPF Prevent Tanning?

SPF doesn’t prevent you from getting a tan. It helps you avoid getting burned. You are able to tan better when you wear sunscreen. You can tan with or without sunscreen, but you’re more likely to burn if you’re not wearing it. Wearing a high SPF sunscreen will still allow you to tan.

Can Sunscreen Remove a Tan?

Wearing sunscreen won’t remove a tan you’ve already gotten. In fact, it can make your tan last longer since sunscreen will help prevent you from burning and peeling.

Is SPF 100 Percent Healthy?

Sunscreen is safe to use and plays an important role in helping to prevent skin cancer. It’s recommended by dermatologists and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is recommended to wear a higher SPF especially if you are spending time outdoors. The higher the SPF the more effective it is in protecting your skin against UV rays.

To learn more about how to protect your skin, make an appointment today with Skin Center of South Miami. Our team of dermatologists can provide the most up to date information on how to protect your skin and offer the most effective treatments for a wide range of skin conditions.


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