Therapeutic Skin Care's Blog

SPF simplified

July 23rd, 2018 • Posted by Lupe Guthrie • Permalink

SPF stands for sun protection factor, which is still relatively vague. The FDA defines SPF as “a measure of how much solar energy (ultraviolet radiation) is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (in the presence of sunscreen) relative to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin.”

Also, not all SPFs are created equally. While a client may not get sunburned because they have protected their skin from UVB rays by wearing sunscreen, the sunscreen in question may not protect them against UVA rays, which is what causes skin cancer. The key type of sunscreen for professionals to recommend is broad-spectrum sunscreen, ones that clearly deliver both UVA and UVB protection.

The ingredients should include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone to enable the sunscreen to provide this dual UVA/UVB protection. Generally, sunscreen should be reapplied about every two hours and after participating in water sports or sweating.

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