Sun Protection and SPF Recommendations

Sun protection is necessary to prevent skin damage and lower the risk of skin cancer. The application of sunscreen with the proper SPF level is a crucial component of sun protection. The required SPF values and other sun safety measures are covered in this reply.

Tips for Sun Protection

Important sun safety advice includes −

  • Time spent in the sun should be kept to a minimum, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun's rays are at their strongest.

  • Put on long-sleeved shirts, slacks, sunglasses, and hats with wide brims to protect skin from the sun.

  • Regularly follow the directions when using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF ratings of 15 or higher.

  • Apply sunscreen again at least every two hours, more frequently if you're perspiring or swimming in and out a lot.

Choosing Sunscreen: Types of Sunscreens

A moisturizer or cosmetics with an SPF 15 base in it is suitable for minimal sun exposure. Nevertheless, for other scenarios, you'll want to analyse your outdoor activities to determine what kind of sunscreen you should use. You can choose from a wide variety of sunscreens.

Waterproof Sunscreen

Water-resistant sunscreen can provide adequate protection for water sports, but it might not be the best choice if you're participating in an activity that could result in SPF dripping into your eyes, such as sports. It's also vital to know that no sunscreen is really waterproof.

Spray Sunscreen

Particularly among parents of wriggling and running kids, this kind of sunscreen is highly well-liked. Other experts, however, are concerned about the safety of spray sunscreen and advise parents to first use a cream-based sunscreen. Your toddler could breathe in dangerous chemicals released by spray sunscreen.


The term "broad-spectrum" refers to a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation. Always picking a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a smart move.

All-Natural Sunscreen

The majority of sunscreens with mineral-based active ingredients don't perform as effectively as those with chemical active ingredients. Mineral-based sunscreens often carry the "natural" designation. If you're seeking for a sunscreen that is entirely natural, one study Trusted Source discovered that picking a sunscreen with a base of olive oil or coconut oil would assist provide the best protection. Since olive oil and coconut oil both naturally offer SPF protection of around 8, they are excellent bases for sunscreens.

High Vs. Low SPF

Be cautious when selecting a very low SPF because it has been shown that many sunscreens don't function as well as stated. After SPF 50, there is no additional protection, however a bottle that reads 50 can still provide some protection. Yet, a product that claims to have 50 SPF can actually have less. Whenever in doubt, choose 50.

Sunscreen For Young Children

Sunscreen shouldn't be applied to infants younger than six months Reliable Source. It doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to sun damage. Little babies may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of sunscreen's ingredients, making it potentially dangerous for them. It is advisable to keep infants under six months old in the shade and cover them with sunscreen-protective clothing.

Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 for your infant. SPF 50 is the standard for baby sunscreens. Although you don't have to use baby-specific sunscreen, many of them do contain particular chemicals to assist prevent irritation or breakouts on a baby's sensitive skin.


SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen shields you from UVA and UVB rays from the sun. It measures the length of time it would take for your skin to burn from UV rays. Consider how long it would take for your skin to burn if there was no covering for it. It's a good idea to have a backup plan in place in case the backup plan fails. SPF protection is assessed in a lab setting with flawless application and routine reapplication of the sunscreen, thus that is not a realistic value. How long a sunscreen really stays on your skin to protect it depends on a number of elements, including sweat, water, and oils on your skin.

We should all purchase sunscreen with the greatest SPF possible, according to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in late 2017. The study found that SPF 100 or more provided greater protection against sunburn than SPF 50. Then, in 2019, another study that was published in JAAD showed that SPF 100 was more effective at preventing sunburn than SPF 50 when evaluated in a beach vacation setting.

However, other experts contend that sunscreens with SPF 100 only provide slightly more protection than those with SPF 50; specifically, SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV radiation and SPF 100 blocks 99%. Moreover, a sunscreen with a high SPF may offer you a false sense of security, leading you to believe that you don't need to reapply sunscreen as frequently as you should. Investing in sunscreen with an SPF of 100 may be worthwhile if you are particularly prone to sunburn. Yet, the major health organizations state that SPF 30 and more will be sufficient for the majority of us. No matter the SPF you use, you must reapply every two hours.

SPF Recommendations

Although different health organizations have varying suggestions, they all concur that SPF 15 is the minimum. SPF 30 or more is recommended for the optimum protection when you'll be outside all day, whether it's at the beach, park, pool, amusement park, or somewhere else. The main health organizations have the following to say −

  • Use of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is advised by the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • Every day you leave the house, the Skin Cancer Foundation advises wearing SPF 15, and if you want to spend the most of the day in the sun, SPF 30.

  • SPF 15 or higher and frequent reapplication are advised by the US Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

One should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays, according to all of those agencies. Be sure that is stated on the bottle of any sunscreen you purchase.


For the sake of our general health and wellbeing, it is imperative that we shield our skin from the sun's damaging rays. Effective sun protection strategies include using sunscreens with the right SPF ratings, looking for cover, donning protective clothes, and avoiding peak sun hours. These routines can assist us in avoiding skin damage and lowering our risk of developing skin cancer.

It's crucial to pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and to reapply it every two hours, especially after swimming or perspiring. Also, it's critical to use the right cosmetics to protect the sensitive skin around our lips and eyes. Regular skin examinations and dermatologist consultations can also aid in identifying and treating any skin problems early on.

Updated on: 04-Apr-2023


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