The summer months provide us with an excellent opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of our sun-savvy habits. In particular, it is our understanding, and our use of the right sunscreen product that requires our undivided attention. Recent studies indicate that a large majority of people don’t understand how to choose, or how to use, sunscreen for maximum effect.
The Point of Sunscreen
Sunscreen is intended to reduce exposure to harmful UV radiation. What most people assume is that the SPF of a sunscreen is what matters the most. But this is one of several important characteristics. SPF indicates the light filtering capabilities of a product. SPF 15 filters about 93% of UVB radiation. SPF 30 sunscreen is capable of filtering about 97% of these rays of light. So you can see, doubling the number doesn’t double the strength. SPF also lets us know how long we may stay out in the sun, but this is also debatable. For instance, a sunscreen with SPF 30 would presumably multiply your baseline by 30. So if your natural baseline before burning is 30 minutes, you would 3ain 30 times that duration by applying SPF 30 sunscreen. However, this means a single application of sunscreen should provide 15 hours of protection; and many people who attempt this end up with quite the nasty sunburn.
Getting it Right
Protecting your skin from UV damage really isn’t all that complicated. Fortunately, there are quality sunscreen products available today. Dermatologists encourage patients to select a water resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF a 15 or 30. Additionally, it is necessary to apply at least 2 tablespoons of product to the exposed areas of skin. Anything less and you risk the penetration of damaging UV light. Lastly, sunscreen should be applied every few hours that you remain in the sun.
Managing Sun Damage
The unfortunate fact is that many adults today did not grow up in the era of sun screen. Park Avenue Skin and Spa offers sun damage treatment to patients of our Manhattan practice. To schedule your skin assessment and rejuvenating care, give us a call at 212-288-0060.