Thousands Of Americans Don’t Understand the SPF Factor in Sunscreens

SPF sunscreens

If you have ever checked sunscreens online, there is one thing associated with them called ‘sun protection factor or SPF. The purpose of using sunscreen is to protect your skin from direct sun exposure and this SPF is a standard to measure its efficiency. Despite the rumors that sunscreens are ineffective and unhelpful to protect from solar radiation, and may cause skin problems, using one is essential and choosing this sunscreen on the basis of your requirement has a high significance.

Despite being a common product with such a big market, demand, and supply, many Americans don’t know how to use sunscreen and how do these sunscreens with different SPF help. The new report by the American Academy of Dermatology confirms that most Americans are unaware of these basic things that may affect their decision to buy and use a sunscreen with no real benefits for their skin.

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A poll conducted recently shared that 80% of the participants were unaware of when to use sunscreen and re-applying sunscreen every two hours is mandatory for maximum sun protection. Only 33% of these participants shared that they re-apply it whereas 42% of the participants never re-apply the sunscreen or only apply it after washing their face. Every 3 in 10 people shared that they use the sunscreen on their face only and never use it on hands, arms, or neck, completely unaware that these other body parts are also exposed to the sun and are unprotected without sunscreen.

The complete study findings are published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

This report also suggests that almost everyone using sunscreen knows that SPF is the primary criteria to pick a sunscreen. While most of the information is already mentioned on the product label, but not everyone pays attention to it or chooses to read it while buying sunscreen.

Dermatologists recommend looking for the three most important things while choosing one among all sunscreens, the first of which is the SPF that should be at least 30 or more, water-resistance, and lastly, the broad-spectrum effects.

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Using a sunscreen that offers SPF 30 means that it will block nearly 97% of the harmful rays coming from the sun that are ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Sunscreens with higher SPF work on blocking these rays more effectively but there is no way to block these UV-B rays by 100%.

That’s why using sunscreen again and again or re-applying provides maximum protection from the sun. However, people often assume that using sunscreen once a day is enough to save their skin from the sun and that only their face requires protection and not any other body part. No matter how much higher SPF you are using, without re-applying it is not going to save you from the UV-B radiations. Many times these rays end up causing sunburn and prolonged exposure to the sun may also cause skin cancer. It is high time to know the right way to use sunscreen and choose a product that offers maximum protection.

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