Today we’ll talk about SPF 50+ – what does it mean? How is it different from SPF 30? What does the ‘+’ mean? What does the ‘SPF’ mean?
The SPF stands for sun protection factor. It is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects the skin from sunburn.
It is important to understand how the SPF rating is validated – it is actually based on a proper scientific measurement.
Here is the serious bit:
SPF in Australia is validated via a human application test. In the test, a person’s skin is exposed to a UV light that replicates sunlight. The time it takes to start to show colour is monitored. Sunscreen is then applied and the test is repeated to determine the difference in time it takes for a person’s skin to show signs of colour. If it takes 2 minutes for a subject’s skin to show signs of colour with no sunscreen applied, and 60 minutes once sunscreen has been applied, then SPF30 rating is assumed (60mins / 2 mins= 30).
Using this same process, if it takes 100 mins before the subject’s skin shows signs of colour once a higher protection sunscreen is applied; the SPF rating of 50 is applied.
And for a sunscreen to be labelled as SPF50+, it must provide an SPF rating of 60 or higher.
So, do SPF50+ Sunscreens offer significantly better protection than SPF30+?
YES THEY DO!!!
Please remember that the sunscreen is applied liberally in the SPF test. Your sunscreen will only deliver its level of protection if applied liberally!
Don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours.
Yours, Sailor Sunscreen