What is SPF? SPF stands for sun protection factor. This is a grading system that indicates the degree of protection provided by the sunscreen. More sun protection is provided with a higher SPF. We recommend using no less than SPF 30+.
Applying sunscreen: The SPF of a sunscreen can be greatly reduced if the sunscreen is applied incorrectly. Adults should apply at least one teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm, leg, and front and back of body and at least ½ a teaspoon to the face, neck and ears. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going out into the sun and should be re-applied every 2-4 hours.
How it works: There are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical.
- Physical (Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Dioxide): this type of sunscreen acts as a physical shield between the skin and sunlight. Until recently this type of sun protection, when applied, was opaque but a new scientific process called micronisation has allowed the particles to be broken down so small that when applied to the skin they become invisible.
- Chemical: these types of sunscreen deactivate UV radiation that reaches the skin preventing damage caused by UV Rays.
WARNING! Sunscreen should not be used as a primary means of sun protection. The most important and effective method for avoiding skin cancer is avoiding the Sun, particularly during the hottest time of the day (between 11am and 3pm). Sunscreen should be applied to complement the use of protective clothing and hats, when sun avoidance is not possible.