Sun Protection Advice: Is Face Sunscreen SPF 30 Enough?

When you were last standing in the drug store aisle and saw all those SPF numbers emblazoned on sunscreen products – did they mean anything to you? If they didn’t, you’re likely wondering about face sunscreen SPF 30 and whether it’s actually enough in terms of UV protection.

The truth is SPF numbers can be very confusing, as for most of us, they don’t mean anything. By reading on, however, we’re going to be looking at the most important aspects. 

Face Sunscreen SPF30 Explained 

In essence, Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of how much time a particular sunscreen will protect your skin against UVB ray exposure. This is the type of sun ray that is associated with melanoma, and it’s something that needs to be worn regardless of whether the sun is out or not. 

The relevant question here though relates to the numbers that each SPF rating has. SPF numbers go right from up from 2, all the way up to SPF 50 – so what’s a good number and what isn’t?

Let’s have a little look:

  • SPF 15 – as one of the lowest strengths of sun protection, SPF 15 is said to protect you against 93% of all UV rays. So, you do get a decent level of safeguarding against the sun. Compared with the 30s and 50s, you’d think that an SPF15 would offer a fraction of the protection, but that’s just not the case. 
  • SPF 30 – next we have face sunscreen SPF30, which despite having a number that’s twice as big as SPF15, only gives you an extra 4% of UV protection. So, with this kind of product, you’re going to get 97% protection at best. Many assume that SPF15 offers half the amount of protection as SPF30, but again, that’s just not the case at all. 
  • SPF 50 – Lastly, we have SPF50, which again, only offers a little more protection than SPF30, giving 99% protection. That said, it does allow you to stay out in the sun for longer than the SPF30 – much longer in fact.

You see, the SPF rating not only relates to the amount of UV protection provided but also the amount of time you can spend in the sun. SPF15 means you can spend 15x longer than without, whereas an SPF50 lets you stay out for 50 times longer before getting burnt.

Face Sunscreen SPF30 Is More Than Enough 

The protection provided by an SPF30 product is more than enough to stop UV damage – it’s why it’s recommended by dermatologists as the minimum you should be using. There are other factors at play here, such as skin tone and sweat, but this is a good rule of thumb to use. 

Just remember that whatever sunscreen you use, you should reapply every 2 hours without fail. Just because you’re using an SPF30 doesn’t mean that you apply it half as often as an SPF15. Again, it doesn’t work like that. 

If you’re using mineral sunscreen, choose an SPF30 at least to be safe and always follow the directions written on the bottle. 

Discover a hidden easter egg