What is SPF? Everything about the protection of your sunscreen

Wat is SPF? Alles over de bescherming van jouw zonnebrand

What is SPF? And what does the factor associated with 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 last?

If you would normally burn after 10 minutes, with factor 30 you would only burn after 30x10 = 300 minutes. This means that you have to apply the cream again after 300 minutes.

How is SPF added to products?

SPF is not a separate substance or ingredient that is added to products. 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! Curious how you can recognize a natural sunburn? You can read that here .

What is UVA and UVB?

An easy mnemonic: A=aging. B=burn. UVA rays penetrate deep into your skin and can cause aging of your skin, pigment spots and sun allergies. UVB rays are slightly more superficial and cause burning of the skin. 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 appear on the packaging:

Whether or not SPF in day cream

Our opinion is that SPF in day cream reduces the quality and effectiveness of the cream. A thick powder must be added to the product to ensure that the cream provides sufficient protection against UV radiation. To make this nice and spreadable, different oils have to be added. For example, part of the cream that could actually contain other active ingredients 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 apply SPF to your face. But SPF is often a lot thicker and can therefore clog your pores. This can worsen your skin, even though the SPF was actually not necessary that day.

Finally, it is also good to get vitamin D from the sun. Applying SPF every day would therefore be a waste of vitamin D intake.

Sunscreen 30 or 50

There is currently a debate about whether it is better to use factor 30 or factor 50. Let's start with: you should always protect your skin as best as possible in direct sunlight. This could also include sunscreen supplemented with a cap or hat, and preferably: stay completely out of direct sun, especially between 12 noon and 3 o'clock when the sun's strength is at its highest. You can read more tips for responsible sunbathing here.

A factor of 30 provides sufficient protection, provided you reapply 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 provides much 'better' protection. But, the difference between factors 30 and 50 is minimal. Factor 50 only protects for longer; If you normally burn in 10 minutes, you should reapply with factor 30 after 300 minutes and with factor 50 after 500 minutes.

No SPF protects 100%. Our factor 30 protects 96.6% against UVB and is broad spectrum (including against UVA). A factor of 50 would provide 98% protection. So that is a difference in protection of 1.4%. With a mineral filter we have to put a lot of extra filter in the cream to make it SPF50, which leads to white haze and stiffness. We also work with uncoated non-nano zinc. Nano zinc would be easier to work with, but it could possibly get into your body. We don't want that either!

The more zinc, the stiffer, and the less easy it is to lubricate. If this is a reason not to apply it, then we say: better use the factor 30!

Sunscreen SPF 30

The sun protection Food for Skin products are:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Free from microplastics, perfume, parabens and other harmful ingredients
  • Coral and marine life friendly
  • Suitable during pregnancy and for everyone from 6 months (not in the sun at all!)

Curious about Food for Skin? Start with a test set!