We (hopefully) all use sunscreen. But what is SPF? And what does the factor associated with the sunscreen mean?
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and shows that the product protects your skin against UV rays. SPF indicates how long you are protected in the sun before you burn. The number after SPF is the multiplication of the time you would burn without sunscreen.
How long does factor 30 sunscreen work?
If you would normally burn after 10 minutes, with factor 30 you would only burn after 30x10 = 300 minutes. That means that you have to reapply after 300 minutes.
How is SPF added to products?
SPF is not a loose substance or ingredient that is added to products. So there are various ingredients that can be added to a product that provide sun protection. At Food for Skin we use the natural product zinc. This forms a natural, mineral filter instead of a chemical filter, which is better for nature and for you! Wondering how to recognize a natural sunburn? You can read that here.
What is UVA and UVB?
An easy mnemonic: A=aging. B=burn. UVA rays go deep into your skin and can cause aging of your skin, pigment spots and sun allergy. UVB rays are slightly more superficial and cause the skin to burn. Both pose a risk for developing skin cancer. So always make sure that your product contains both UVA and UVB protection. You can recognize it by this icon, which must be on the packaging:
Whether or not SPF in day cream
Our opinion is that SPF in day cream reduces the quality and effect of the cream. Thick powder must be added to the product to ensure that the cream protects enough against UV radiation. To make this nice and spreadable, different oils must be added again. For example, part of the cream that could actually contain other active substances is taken up by the SPF. Shame!
In addition, on days when the sun shines little, for example in winter, it is not necessary to put SPF on your face. But SPF is often a lot thicker and can therefore clog your pores. This can worsen your skin, while the SPF was actually not needed at all that day.
Finally, it is also good to get vitamin D through the sun. Applying SPF every day would therefore be a shame for the intake of vitamin D.
Sunburn 30 or 50
There is currently a discussion about whether it is better to use factor 30 or factor 50. Let's put it first: you should always protect your skin as much as possible in direct sunlight. This can also be sunscreen supplemented with a cap or hat, and preferably: stay out of the direct sun completely, especially between 12 and 3 am when the sun's strength is highest. You can read more tips for responsible sunbathing here.
A factor of 30 provides sufficient protection, provided you re-apply in time. So always take a tube with you in your bag on sunny days, for example the Food for Skin SPF30-150ml.
Many people think that factor 50 protects 'better'. But, the difference with factor 30 and 50 is minimal. Factor 50 only protects longer; if you normally burn in 10 minutes you have to lubricate again with factor 30 after 300 minutes and with factor 50 after 500 minutes. With a factor of 50 you can theoretically stay in the sun longer, but beware: to make a factor higher, you have to add proportionately more zinc. The more zinc, the more slippery, the less easy it is to lubricate. If this is a reason not to lubricate it, then we say: rather take the factor 30.
Sunscreen SPF 30
All Food for Skin sun protection products are vegan, sustainable and not tested on animals and contain no microplastics, perfume or parabens. Also our factor 30 sunscreen!