What Is The Best Sun Protection Factor in Sunscreen?


Have you ever wondered about the bottle of sunscreen in your cupboard? Or thought twice about whether to choose an SPF15, SPF30 or SPF50+? Labelling in sunscreen can be pretty confusing, so we’re breaking things down with this handy guide to understanding what ‘SPF’ actually stands for and how to choose the right one for you in 2023.

What does SPF mean?

SPF is an acronym that means ‘sun protection factor’. We throw this word around interchangeably with ‘sunscreen’ but it’s actually a measure of the time it would take the sun’s UV radiation to burn your skin when using the sunscreen versus the time it would take without any sunscreen. There are generally three different levels of protection to choose from – SPF15 is common in makeup, whilst SPF30 and SPF50+ are the normal options you have in a bottle of regular sunscreen.

What’s the difference between SPF30 and SPF50+

The higher the SPF level, means essentially the longer it would take you to burn when wearing that sunscreen. In other words, the higher the SPF, the higher your level of protection. So in that sense, SPF 30  would take you 30 times longer to burn compared to if you weren’t wearing that sunscreen. SPF 50 sunscreen would take you 50 times longer. It’s important to remember this is just an indication too and it doesn’t mean you won’t not burn either.

How to choose the right SPF for me?

It’s recommended that most people wear a minimum of SPF30 protection to ensure they’re protected against the harmful effects from the sun. Regardless of your skin tone opt for a minimum of SPF30, but would do well to consider upping the protection to SPF50+.

There’s a common misconception that those with dark skin have more natural protection from the sun due to increased melanin, it’s only likely a maximum of SPF 3, so definitely not high enough to ditch the sunscreen.

The Best SPF 30 Sunscreen in Australia in 2023

Clean Screen SPF30 from Ultra Violette

This is for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of products on their skin – it’s totally weightless thanks to the gel formula. Based on titanium dioxide broad spectrum protection, it’s got skin-soothing properties that are ideal at helping with redness or sensitivity. It’s also fragrance-free which is great if you’re a little fussy about smells.

The Best SPF50+ Sunscreen in Australia in 2023

Supreme Screen Hydrating Sunscreen SPF50+ from Ultra Violette

As the name suggests this is an ultra hydrating formula, but also a general all-rounder we love. It triples up as a moisturiser, primer and high-level SPF in just one product! Ideal for wearing to layer makeup on top, it’ll keep your skin protected from the sun’s harsh rays in a cinch.  We love that it’s also packed full of antioxidant rich Kakadu Plum – it’s got literally 100 times more vitamin C than an orange!

Feel a little more empowered about your sunscreen bottle? Make sure you choose the right SPF for you next time you’re shopping. And remember to update your sunscreen annually as it expires too!

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