Summer is at its peak and it’s time to shield your skin from harmful sunrays. Harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays are bad for your skin health and can lead to blemishes, tan and even skin cancer in few cases.

In summer, the most common advice is to lather your skin with a sunscreen that has SPF. And if you are wondering what exactly SPF is and how and why you should choose the right type of sunscreen, read on to know more.Confused About SPF? Pick The Right Sunscreen

What Is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it is an indicator on how effectively it can protect the skin from UVB rays and radiation damaging skin.

What Is SPF 15, 30, and 50?

SPF 15:

For instance, if you feel a sunburn 10 minutes after being in the sun, using SPF 15 protects you from the harsh rays for 15 times longer, amounting to 150 minutes or two-and-half hours. If you are using SPF 15, doctors recommend using it for every 2 hours as it can block 93 per cent of UVB rays.

SPF 30:

You will need SPF 30, if you feel a sunburn 30 minutes after being in the sun. Using an SPF 30 will block UVB rays by 97 per cent and allows only 3 per cent rays to hit the skin layer.

SPF 50:

SPF 50 is recommended for those with a history of skin cancer, fair complexioned and with other skin related problems. It offers a very high protective shield from UVB rays and it provides 98 per cent protection to the skin.

How To Choose The Right Sunscreen:

While SPF is important, pick those products that come under broad spectrum. SPF provides protection against UVB rays while broad spectrum sunscreens shield body from UVA rays too, as they can penetrate deeper under the skin causing dullness, spots, blemishes and wrinkles.

SPF 30 And Above:

Though SPF 15 is recommended, go for the products that are above SPF 30 and for a stronger protection. Using a product with higher SPF ensures a lot more protection, however it should be applied properly.

Water Resistant:

Water resistant sunscreens are preferred for those planning to take a dip in the swimming pool. Water resistant products are very sticky and should be reapplied for every two to three hours.

Go For Zinc Or Titanium:

If you are one of those with a very sensitive skin, pick sunscreens with zinc or titanium as main components. Zinc and titanium cause less allergies and also shield body against other skin pollutants.

Avoid Sprays:

Dermatologists recommend creams and lotions over sunscreen sprays as they may not provide total protection. Avoid using sprays if you are holidaying by the beach or in an open space. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen on exposed areas of the body.