The term SPF is one of the most familiar that’s seen in conjunction with the many sunscreen products on the market. However, surprisingly, many people don’t know what it means. They know, of course, that the higher the number it is, the more protection it provides, but many don’t understand by how much. Here, we look at the basics of products like Blue Lizard SPF lotion and what you need to know.
You see, it doesn’t quite work as logically as you might think. For instance, SPF 15 does not offer 50% as much protection as SPF 30. Stay with us as we explore why.
Understanding Blue Lizard SPF Lotion Numbers
The SPF part of Blue Lizard SPF lotion stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’, and it’s an indicator of how well sunscreen is able to protect you from the sun – namely UVA and UVB rays. What the number refers to is the duration of protection; however, factors like swimming and sweating can reduce this efficacy.
So, if you’ve got an SPF 15 product, it means that it will take 15x longer to burn than it would if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen at all. 15-25 minutes is the average, so it will take at least 3 ¾ hours to get sunburn with it on – so long as it’s reapplied every 2 hours.
Let’s take a look at how it all breaks down…
- SPF 15 – Blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays and takes 15x longer to burn in the sun. Suitable for daily activities and short periods outdoors, but not for extended sun exposure.
- SPF 30 – Blocks around 97% of UVB rays. It takes 30x times longer to burn in the sun. Ideal for longer outdoor activities, offering twice as much protection (in terms of duration) as SPF 15 is commonly recommended by dermatologists for people of various skin types.
- SPF 50 – Blocks about 98% of UVB rays. Gives you 50x longer in the sun – theoretically. Suitable for very sensitive skin or extreme sun conditions. It should not be used as an excuse to stay in the sun longer, as, in truth, the increase in protection is minimal compared to SPF 30.
So, it’s pretty evident that it’s not as simple as 15, 30 and 50 relating to how much protection you get. It does in terms of duration without burning, but even then, it’s still not a great idea to spend upwards of 10 hours a day out in the sun. Remember, too, that reapplication is key.
A Few Facts to Leave You With About Blue Lizard SPF Lotion
If you sweat profusely or go swimming during your time outside in the sun, immediate reapplication is needed. Also, you should be looking for a broad-spectrum product, as you also need protection from UVA rays that get you even when the sun is behind the clouds.
Sunscreen shouldn’t be a standalone solution either, especially on hot days. It should be used in tandem with other measures like sunglasses, hats and loose clothing. Sure, it’s nice to be tanned, but it’s better to keep your skin protected, as it will look younger for more years than it otherwise would.