Beauty and cosmetics

20 things to know about SPF

Fact No. 1: physical and chemical filters act differently.

There are two types of filters: physical and chemical. The first create a kind of “screen” on the skin, mechanically reflecting a solar attack. Most often, manufacturers use titanium dioxide (titanium dioxide), zinc oxide (zinc oxide) as physical filters. Chemical filters have a different operating principle. If you omit all the complex details, they absorb UV radiation, converting it into thermal energy and thereby rendering harmless. Avobenzene (butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane), salicylates (salicilates), cinnamates (cinnamates) are used as chemical filters. Ideally, when the product contains two types of filters.

Fact No. 2: There are two types of UV radiation.

There are three main types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. It is UVA that is detrimental to the skin – it increases the risk of developing cancer, causes burns and pigmentation. UVB rays are not harmful to the skin and are almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer. They are dangerous only to the cornea of ​​the eye. Therefore, high-quality sunglasses provide protection against two types of radiation.

Fact No. 3: protection should be selected, taking into account the skin phototype.

In dermatology there is such a thing as erythema time. It means the minimum dose of sun exposure, after which visible redness appears on the skin. This is an individual indicator.

Its value depends on the phototype, which, according to the classification of the American dermatologist Fitzpatrick, is five: 1 – skin that is practically not tan, often with freckles, characteristic of owners of fair eyes and hair; 2 – skin prone to burns, characteristic of people with light or dark blond hair and light eyes; 3 – well-tanning skin, not prone to burns, typical for people with dark hair and dark eyes; 4 – the skin perfectly tans, does not burn, is not prone to the appearance of freckles; 5 – very dark skin that never burns, – protection from the sun laid at the genetic level.

If you are a blue-eyed blonde, most likely, we are talking about the first phototype, in which there is a high risk of burns. In this case, you need a cream with the highest level of SPF.

Fact No. 4: there is a generally accepted formula that allows you to calculate the permissible time spent in the sun.

For example, at a temperature of 30 degrees the erythema time of a girl with fair skin and blue eyes is about 10 minutes. Accordingly, with SPF 50 protection, she can spend 500 minutes in the sun (10x50SPF = 500). Tools with SPF must be updated after contact with water.


Fact No. 5: when choosing a protection tool you need to consider geolocation.

The sun “does not shine equally for everyone!” Its activity depends on the region. In areas closer to the equator, the rays fall at right angles – their effect is especially dangerous and fatal to the skin. There you need to use protection higher than the one you are used to using (erythema time decreases sharply). The UV index in your area can be easily determined on the  website or using a special smartphone application. In Moscow, for example, it is quite low – about three. Sydney is very high – ranging from eight to ten. There in the daytime it is better not to appear in the sun at all, even with maximum SPF protection.

Fact No. 6: funds in the form of sprays must be able to dose correctly.

Sprays differ in fine dispersion and lay on the skin with a thin layer. Often it turns out that when applied, some areas remain unprocessed. Protection is not enough. Sprays are strictly prohibited for use by children and those who have problems with the respiratory system.

Fact No. 7: the difference between the SPF30 and SPF15 is not too much.

SPF is not only a temporary indicator. The higher the value of the protection factor, the more sunlight the product blocks. But the difference between the SPF30 and SPF15 is not too big. So SPF15 neutralizes 94% of the sun’s rays, SPF30 – 97%, SPF50 –98%.

Fact No. 8: SPF does not have to be applied in advance.

It is not necessary to apply the product 30-60 minutes before sun exposure, as many experts advise. SPF starts working right away! To do this on the beach is quite appropriate. In the first days of exposure to the active sun, it is better to use products with maximum protection. Further SPF can be reduced. Never start a tan with oils – do not provide the necessary protection. They are good for moisturizing the skin after tanning. Use shea butter, jojoba, almond, rose hip.

Fact No. 9: most day care products already have SPF.

This applies not only to care products, but also to decorative cosmetics. In most day creams, the SPF factor ranges from 15 to 20. This information is indicated on the package. See composition. Search among the ingredients: oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, PABA derivatives, octylmethoxycinnamate, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone.


Fact No. 10: funds with SPF must be used in cloudy weather.

The fact that cloud cover does not need protection is a myth.

Even when the sun is not visible at all and the sky is overcast, about 40% of UV radiation reaches the earth. This is enough to get a burn to the owners of the first skin phototype.

They may even have freckles even in February with the “cold” sun.


Fact No. 11: using cream with SPF does not provoke vitamin D deficiency.

In our climate, preparations based on vitamin D, which is produced under the influence of UV, should be taken from September to March (and sometimes in the summer months). Some are afraid to use creams with SPF, believing that this causes a deficiency of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). There is not a single study proving that this is true.


Fact No. 12: SPF in tonal foundations works for about 2 hours.

In tonal foundations, manufacturers most often use SPFs from 10 to 20. Do not use them with active sunshine without need. On the beach, tonal foundations are generally not recommended. Even if you work in an office, remove the cream and apply again before going out.


Fact No. 13: owners of dark skin can use products with lower SPF.

Sunburn and age spots are less likely to appear on dark skin. This does not mean that it does not need to be protected. It is necessary, but the degree of protection may be lower.

Fact No. 14: it is better not to use sunscreen from last season.

Every cosmetic product has expiration lines. But with sunscreens, it is no more than a year. Check the expiration dates of all last year’s products. If they have expired, feel free to throw leftovers into the bin.


Fact No. 15: cream with SPF does not guarantee the absence of freckles.

Beauticians even have the concept of “freckled phototype.” Melanin is actively formed on such skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, which is distributed pointwise. No cream can stop this process 100%.


Fact No. 16: caring components in products with physical filters are useless.

In addition to SPF protection, creams may contain caring and moisturizing components: hyaluronic acid, vitamins, essential oils. But with physical filters, additional ingredients are useless. Filters create a protective “screen” on the skin surface, reflecting UV rays and preventing the penetration of skin care components into the skin. If you want to moisturize and nourish, apply the serum that you use every day, under the tool with SPF.


Fact No. 17: certain components of protective equipment should be avoided.

Avoid parabens, strong preservatives and fragrances that can provoke allergies as part of protective products. Benzophenone can cause endocrine disruption. Protective product manufacturers often use retinyl palmitate. Under the influence of UV rays can trigger pigmentation. Avoid using cosmetics with retinoids during solar activity.

Fact No. 18: in nature there is no 100% natural remedy with SPF.

All natural protective products are made on the basis of oils. But their maximum SPF is 4 (SPF is considered working from 10). If a larger index is indicated on the package, there are two options: either there are other filters in the composition, or this is a marketing move.

Fact No. 19: UV radiation does not penetrate clothing.

Even lightweight fabric is a mechanical barrier to UV rays. Under clothes, the skin does not tan – it is a reliable protection against burns.

Fact No. 20: hair also needs UV protection.

Hair needs protection no less than skin. Under the influence of UV rays, they not only quickly lose color. Ultraviolet overdries the hair, making it dull and brittle. During the period of solar activity, it is better to use special sprays and oils.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *