Do you like to burn? Do you yearn to wrinkle? If not, then this is the article for you. Because learning what is SPF will help you kick sunburns and premature aging out of your life.

You may have heard that sunburns and most visible signs of aging come from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV). In fact, there are two types of UV rays, UVA (aging) and UVB (burning). Combined, they turn your fun beach weekend into an I-feel-like-an-aged-lobster weekend.

For an in-depth look at UVA and UVB rays, read my post The Sun is Your Frienemy.

But how do you protect your skin from these burning and aging rays? Enter sunscreen, your secret weapon. 

Yet with so many options choosing a good sunscreen can feel overwhelming. 

So in this post, we’ll look at the most important factor you need to understand when choosing a good sunscreen- SPF.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is a guide to how many UVB (burning) rays the sunscreen will block.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF30 blocks 97 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98 percent.

Doesn’t sound like that big of a difference between the two? Well the Skin Cancer Foundation adds that 1% extra protection is important, especially if “you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer.”

So while they officially recommend to use at least SPF 30, it’s good to choose SPF 50 if you can. 

Especially if you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors (gardening, hiking, waiting in long lines at the taco truck).

And make sure to reapply. Even high SPF sunscreens eventually wear off and stop protecting you. So always read labels and smear it back on as directed. And do so generously. Applying a smidge will give you only a smidge of protection. 

Why Choose Broadspectrum Sunscreen

You might have noticed that SPF ratings deal with UVB rays that cause sun burns. But what about those pesky UVA rays that make you age faster? 

Some sunscreens protect you from both. They’re called “broad-spectrum” since they block both spectrums of UV light.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens have three or more active ingredients to combat both UVB and UVA. Most sunscreen packages will let you know if they’re broad-spectrum or not along with their SPF rating.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily on your face to fight off aging. 

My Favorite Sunscreens

Here are some of my favorite sunscreens and ones I’ve heard others rave about.

What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60

Best For Acne-Prone Skin

Amazing for acne-prone skin, my dermatologist recommended this sunscreen to me a few years ago and I’ve used it ever since. It’s zinc oxide-based and leaves no residue. It also contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for a younger, healthier-looking you.
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60

Water Resistant and Full of Antioxidants

My second favorite sunscreen, this broad-spectrum beauty protects you from harmful UVA/UVB rays while also giving your skin a healthy dose of antioxidants. It’s oil-free, fragrance-free and recommended for sensitive skin.  
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+

Broad Spectrum and High SPF

Ultra-light and shine-free, this sunscreen contains Neutrogena’s famous helioplex broad-spectrum technology that protects you from UVA and UVB rays. I love that it goes on sheer and doesn’t leave a white residue.

 

What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 Lotion

Smells Like Summer

Water resistant up to 80 minutes, this sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection that meets the American Cancer Society guidelines. Its fans report that it “smells like summer.” Can you get better than that?
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 45

Another great product from the Neutrogena Dry-Touch line, this one comes at a lower SPF and provides a great value for the price.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

Featured photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.
What is SPF? Learn how to choose the right SPF to protect your face from premature aging and sunburn. And discover my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Read more on elliedashwood.com.

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