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Spending time outdoors is a great way to enjoy nature, and take advantage of the many benefits that sunlight can provide for your overall health and wellbeing. A hindrance to this is the damage that may be inflicted to the skin, by continuous exposure to the sun by way of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
To manage this issue, we often rely on sunscreen. However, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to choosing the right sunscreen, as they come with varied SPF ratings.
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It is a rating to help determine for how long one can stay in the sun, without running the risk of getting sunburned while wearing sunscreen, as opposed to how long one can stay exposed to the sun without wearing sunscreen.
A simple way to understand is to consider that if it takes 20 minutes to experience sunburn without sunscreen, then a sunscreen with an SPF 10, will allow you to be outside 10 times longer (3 hours 30 minutes) before your skin gets burned.
Adequate sun protection is critical to avoid skin damage from harmful UV radiation.
Choosing the right sunscreen, with the appropriate SPF value, and which can protect the skin for long durations, could be a tricky task to accomplish. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when selecting a sunscreen:
1. Broad-spectrum sunscreen: A broad-spectrum sunscreen, with a minimum of SPF 30, can help block up to 97% of sun rays. The formula is, that the higher the SPF, the better protection against UV rays. An SPF of 30 can protect your skin for 30 times as long as when you are not wearing sunscreen.
2. Timings: Besides the SPF value, it is also important to apply sunscreen in good quantities. Avoid stepping out of the house between 12 PM to 4 PM to avoid skin damage, and enjoy the lasting effects of sunscreen. The sunscreen should also be water and sweat resistant. Also, remember to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours.
3. Day to day activity: Choosing the correct SPF can be cumbersome, and often depends on your work and outdoor commitments. So, if you are someone who has to step out often, then choose a sunscreen between SPF 15 (protection from 93% of UV RAYS) to SPF 50 (protection from 98% of UV rays).
So, ladies, be mindful of your needs and schedule when it comes to choosing the right SPF. Keep these tips in mind and enhance your sun protection strategy!