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SPF and Skin Care: 3 Important Facts You Need to Know

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Did you know that your SPF level and the type of sunscreen you use are just as important when it comes to your skin and its long-term health? These two factors are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection. A low SPF level and using the wrong type of sunscreen can have a negative impact on your skin, even if you’re only getting sun exposure every few months. But, you don’t need to give up on your SPF routine. Keep reading for some useful insights into the pros and cons of your favorite SPF routine, along with some important facts about your skin’s needs when it comes to sun protection.

What is SPF?

Sun protection factor (SPF) is a standard method used to benchmark the effectiveness of sunscreen products. SPF is a number that indicates the protection you’ll get from a sunscreen product if you’re in the sun for the same amount of time that you would be unprotected. For example, you might use a SPF 15 product when you’re in direct sunlight for two hours. If you’re also taking a brisk walk during that time, then your total time in the sun is three hours. The SPF 15 product would only protect you from the two-hour time period, not the three hours you spent in it. The higher the SPF of a sunscreen product, the more time you’ll be protected for in the sun.

How to Apply Sunscreen

There are a few different ways to apply sunscreen, so it’s important to understand which method is right for you.

  • Using a Sunscreen Brush: This is the most common method of applying sunscreen, according to The National Dermatology Foundation. It’s also a great way to get even coverage when applying sunscreen to the face. If you don’t own a sunscreen brush, you can use a makeup brush to apply sunscreen. Look for a brush with large, flat bristles as opposed to one with small, round bristles. The larger the surface area of the brush, the more quickly you can get the product onto your skin. You can also use a clean sponge or rag to apply sunscreen if you don’t own a brush.

  • Spraying: This is a quick way to add a layer of protection to your skin. Spray sunscreen onto your hands or onto the back of your neck. Then, rub the sunscreen into your skin as quickly as possible — ideally in about one to two seconds. There are lots of different sprays on the market, so it’s important to choose one that feels comfortable to you. You can also choose a sunscreen with a moisturizing effect to add extra hydration to your skin.

  • Dusting: This method requires a separate product, which you then dust onto your skin. Look for a sunscreen with a specific dusting product to help get even coverage and protect your skin at the same time. Some products come in the form of a powder that you then sprinkle on your skin.

Types of SPF

There are many different types of SPF, but the two most important types are daily and water resistant. Daily SPF products are designed to be used every day, while water-resistant SPF products are more intense and can be used in swimming and water activities. Daily SPF products offer SPF protection while you’re in the sun for long periods of time, including during activities like gardening, walking, and running. Water-resistant SPF products are designed to provide intense protection against water, so you can use them in activities like swimming or water sports.

The Skin Care Benefits of SPF

Sun protection is an important part of healthy skin care, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. There are many other factors to consider when it comes to skin care, but one important fact is that your SPF level can directly impact your skin’s health.

  • Helps Prevent Wrinkles: Getting enough sun exposure when you’re young can help prevent some of the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. Sun exposure also appears to be linked to some skin cancers, so it’s important to get enough protection from the sun to prevent these health issues.

  • Hydrates and Conditions Skin: Sun protection can help you keep your skin looking and feeling young, hydrated, and healthy. Clearing away the excess oils from your skin with a good cleanser is one of the quickest ways to get essential hydration into your skin.

  • Protects against UVA and UVB Rays: UVA and UVB rays are the two types of harmful rays that can damage your skin. Daily SPF products protect against UVA rays, while water-resistant SPV products protect against UVB rays.

The Skin Care Disadvantages of SPF

While your SPF level can certainly help protect your skin, it’s important to remember that it’s only one factor in a healthy skin care routine. There are many other factors that can impact your skin health, including your diet, your stress levels, and the products you use. Because of this, it’s important to keep in mind the following disadvantages of relying solely on SPF products.

  • Not enough protection: Even if you’re wearing SPF 15 sunscreen every day, you might not be getting enough protection. The length of time you’re in the sun, the intensity of the sun, the amount of water in the air, and other factors can impact your level of protection.

  • Wrong SPF level: Even if you’re wearing the right SPF level for the weather in the location you’re in (e.g. a tropical vacation means wearing SPF 30 instead of SPF 15), it’s possible that you’re applying the product incorrectly. An improper application of sunscreen can make you less protected than you should be.

  • Not enough sun exposure: Many people think that they need to wear SPF all the time to get enough sun exposure, but that’s not always necessary. You can still get plenty of sun exposure even if you’re wearing SPF 15 every day.


Sun protection is important for your skin, but it’s important to remember that your SPF level and the type of sunscreen you use are just as important. There are several important factors to keep in mind while you’re protecting your skin from the sun. These include your SPF level and the type of sunscreen you’re using.

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