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We asked dermatologists how high your SPF should be this summer



While soaping with SPF is a simple and important task, much of the process is difficult to understand. What do these SPF numbers mean for the beginning? And which one should you use? They climb up to 100 – but is that really necessary, especially when many brands sell moisturizers and sunscreens with SPF 15?

We have forwarded these and other questions to a panel of Dermatologists to clarify the SPF and the standards we should set when buying and using it.

As it turns out, not everything is about the SPF number which can mislead even most consumers. But let 's start:

How SPF Works

Dr. med. Mariana Atanasovski has a good breakdown of SPF numbers: "SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB radiation, while SPF 50 blocks 98% and SPF 1

00 99%. Says Atanasovski. UVB rays are those that "photo-photo" your skin, causing dark spots, wrinkles and leathery tan. Imagine, you are someone who is completely averse to any kind of tanning or whose skin is so bright that it only burns in the sun. In this case, Atanasovski proposes to invest in SPF 100. Otherwise, most of us are safe with SPF 50 and provide 98% protection. If you want to tan a bit, you can downshift the LSF 30.

Finally, make sure your sunscreen is labeled as "broad spectrum." This means that it also blocks UVA rays that cause skin cancer. There are fewer standards for that – generally they are blocked or not. So for safety's sake only get products with a broad spectrum. We like:

SPF 30 is a good starting point

Most dermatologists in our survey suggested starting with at least SPF 30, as the coverage is 97%, compared to SPF 15 at 93 %. (Again, this percentage refers to the amount of UVB rays that are blocked.) With SPF 30, you still get a slight tan and glow that no dermatologist will ever consider a good thing. However, as a non-dermatologist, we are encouraged to promote a summer tan as a positive thing – as you follow the rest of this advice and gradually tan.

"Everyone should use at least SPF 30 with a broad SPF Daily frequency coverage, whether you want to spend a certain amount of time outdoors or not," Dr. Audra Isaac Grossman. This includes your daily moisturizer, even in winter. We like:

This SPF number is usually wrong – but it's not the brand's mistake.
Due to human error, we usually do not get the SPF value we chose. You need to lather the lotion generously to take full advantage of it and re-apply it every 60 to 90 minutes immediately after swimming or sweating.

"Nobody in the real world actually gets the SPF indicated on the bottle." Curtis Asbury. "No one uses sunscreen thick enough to do this. Real-world studies have shown that the average person wearing sunscreen with sun protection factor 30 receives only a fraction of that score because it does not use enough. For that reason, everyone should wear the highest sun protection factor they can reasonably use. If you are using sunscreen with an SPF of 70, you may get almost SPF 30.

It's all about ingredients

Not all respondents are primarily interested in SPF numbers. Some focus more on the active ingredients used. "Look for a zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide sunscreen for the best protection," says Brenda Dintiman, MD "One that is waterproof and does not burn your eyes when running, cycling or swimming, and is ideal for sensitive people Skin and does not cause irritation, they are all at least SPF 50 or higher and prevent skin cancer and skin aging. "

A Number That You Should Focus on: How Many Times You Apply Again

Also You can not cover yourself with a single layer of SPF and expect it to protect you throughout the day. "After hours of swimming or heavy sweating, your SPF 100 is as good as SPF 15 if you use it Do not reapply regularly, "says Marcy Alvarez, DO." I usually recommend sprays and aerosols for people with an active lifestyle ch the terms "80 minutes water resistant" and "invisible zinc". "

Try other UV protection measures

If you are obsessed with effective coverage, you should consider more than sun protection. "Clothing is often overlooked as an option for sunscreen," says Dr. Audra Isaac Grossman. "There are many great brands at various prices that offer lightweight UV protection factor (UPF) shirts, which eliminates some of the annoying sunscreen.

  • Hanes UPF 50+ long-sleeved T-shirt [$16; hanes.com]
  • Coolibar UPF 50+ long-sleeved performance shirt [$55; coolibar.com]

It also recommends an oral supplement to protect the skin: "Some daily antioxidants, such as [fern-based] Heliocare can also help prevent UV damage, but should not replace other sunscreen measures. "


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