What does that SPF number mean for you?


Did you know that there is a way to calculate how much sun protection you need? It’s true! As it turns out, choosing a sunscreen because it is cheap and smells nice then applying it once a day is not the ideal strategy for protecting your skin.

This is a calculation to help select a sunscreen product or to know when you need to reapply your sunscreen.

There is the equation you can use to figure out what that SPF means for you:

(How long you can spend in the sun before burning) multiplied by (the product’s SPF) = minutes of sun protection

For example, if you have fair skin that burns in 10 minutes and you have a product that is SPF 30…

10 minutes x SPF 30= up to 300 minutes of sun protection

Remember, the higher the reported UV index is, the more dangerous the UV rays are and the more quickly your skin can burn. Check your local weather and then check what those UV index numbers mean.

When it comes to protecting your skin from the sun, remember…

• Wear sunscreen everyday. Even in the winter, UV rays can be harmful.

• Even if your sunscreen can give you a few hours of protection, it is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours in order to get the maximum protection from your sunscreen.

• Water and sweat decrease the effectiveness of SPF! Reapply your sunscreen after swimming or sweating. Even if your sunscreen says it is water resistant, it is worth it to reapply.

• Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going in the sun.

  • Calculate your recommended SPF
  • 8 sunscreen mistakes you are probably making
  • Sunscreen FAQs

Written By: Laura Smith