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October 02, 2020

The options when choosing sunscreen products are endless. Due to the wide array of choices, sunscreen itself can become complicated and even a bit overwhelming at times. When taking a closer look into the fundamentals of sunscreen, it is evident there are a lot of layers to the subject. This is a crash course on how SPF works, why it is important, and how to use it properly. 

The Breakdown of SPF

What is SPF exactly?

SPF is something we see all over the place, but does everyone really know what it is, how it works, and why it is important? Luckily, we are here to break it all down for you. In its simplest form, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. 

When it comes to sun protection, most people tend to think only about sunburns, which are caused by UVB rays. But the truth is, there are several other damaging effects the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation can have on the skin as well. Within the UV spectrum, there are two types of rays that can damage the DNA in your skin cells and lead to skin cancer. It is extremely important to protect your skin fromboth types of UV rays: 

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays cause skin damage that leads to tanning as well as skin aging, wrinkles, and uneven skin tones. The shortest wavelengths of UVA rays also contribute to sunburn. It is important to look for the words “broad spectrum” on a product’s label, which means it has ingredients that can protect you from UVA as well as UVB rays.
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, as previously mentioned, cause sunburn and play a key role in developing skin cancer. A sunscreen’s SPF number refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection it provides.

Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye, because it has shorter wavelengths than the light we can see. So, although you cannot see them, it does not mean they are not there and harming your skin. It is SPF’s role to block these damaging UV rays and the radiation that comes from them. 

Different Levels of SPF

You may have noticed that on sunscreen products the letters SPF are often followed by a specific number. So, what does this number actually mean? Well, the SPF number represents the amount of time it would take for the radiation to impact or redden your skin with the sunscreen product, when applied as directed, compared to without the sunscreen product. In other words, the SPF listed for a sunscreen reflects the degree of protection against UVB rays. For example, if you apply SPF 30 sunscreen, it will take the UV rays 30 times longer to damage the skin. 

If you are inside most of the day with just short intervals in the sun, you can use a sunscreen or cosmetic product with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially when and where the sun is strongest, skin care professionals recommend that you wear an SPF 30 or higher, water-resistant sunscreen, like lumasol’s SPF 50 engine.

Skin care professionals recommend that you wear at least sunscreen with SPF 30 when outdoors or exposed to the sun. This correlates to protection against 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. A sunscreen myth that a lot of people may not know about is that ultrahigh ratings of 100 or above actually aren’t that much more protective than an SPF 50, which blocks 98 percent of UVB rays. To make sure you are using a sunscreen that offers sufficient protection against UVB and UVA rays, look for the term “broad spectrum.”

Different Types of Sunscreen

Understanding Your Sunscreen Options 

When searching for the perfect sunscreen for you - understanding the difference in mineral versus chemical is a crucial step! The base of your sunscreen determines your skin’s interaction with the sun rays. Mineral sunscreens can be thought of as a shield - it is armor lying on the surface of your skin and scatter the rays before they can damage your skin. Chemical sunscreens are similar to a sponge, they absorb the UV rays permitted by the sun, convert these rays into heat, and continue on to release them from the body. Chemical sunscreens often are easier to apply, and lack the white residue that mineral sunscreens often leave.

Lumasol is a chemically based sunscreen. Our SPF smart engine allows for easy application - so there is no excuse not to use it! Chemical sunscreen typically allows for more innovation - as companies can manipulate the texture, consistency, etc. At lumasol, we prioritize an easy lightweight spray that does not leave your face feeling as if you have something caked on. 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Sunscreen

Application

It is often assumed that the higher the SPF number, the less you have to reapply. This is not the case. Throw away all you have learned about math when reading this… no matter if you are applying SPF 100 or SPF 30, in order to be protected properly, re-application needs to occur every two hours. Sunscreen naturally is broken down after a certain period of time post sun exposure. Therefore, reapplying throughout the day is vital to mastering Sunscreen 101. 

When Should You Apply? 

It is important to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure for optimum use. Lumasol is your new sun bff as it is designed to simplify your sunscreen experience. When exposed to UV rays, the lumasol bottle changes color. So it is a perfect reminder for days when you forgot! 

Re-application

Just as pressing as applying in the first place, comes re-application. Natural wear will break down sunscreen every two hours- adding in sweating, water, and other activities will decrease this time period. To get the full protection of your sunscreen’s SPF, you need to apply it generously.

Lumasol Customer Guarantee 

We stand by our product, our customers, and want everyone to have the best experience with lumasol. However, we understand that every skin type is different. We recommend those with sensitive skin perform a patch test first, with a small amount of lumasol, to ensure there is no negative reaction. 

If you are not satisfied with our formula’s interaction with your skin, we are committed to offering a full refund within 30 days, no strings attached. 

applying lumasol spf 50 sunscreen

 

The Bottom Line 

With all this being said, now it is time to take your newfound knowledge of sunscreen into action.  You have no excuse not to wear your sunscreen! As a reward for mastering this crash course, go buy yourself a vile of lumasol and protect your skin! 

 

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