Whenever I had to buy sunscreen for the beach, I always found myself lost in translation. All I saw were bottles with different numbers on them — SPF 20, SPF 30, SPF 50, and so on. I just want my skin to be protected, why is everything so complicated?!
So one time, I ended up buying the one with the highest SPF (read: the more, the merrier) and the next instance I bought the one with SPF 30 because that’s what the magazine told me (“at least SPF 30”). I didn’t even bother to know why.
Then last school year during my pharmacology class, I was so enlightened that I figured I should share this “important piece of information” with friends and family. First, sunscreens prevent UV radiation from penetrating the skin. Thus, it helps prevent skin damage, wrinkles, and reduces the risk for developing skin cancer. That’s why every dermatologist on the planet would tell you that you should WEAR SUNSCREEN not only when going to the beach but EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I love the mist from Belo because it’s not sticky.
Second, sunscreens have different levels of action based on the sun protection factor (SPF). It basically tells you how long you can stay under the sun. On average, a person can only stay under the sun for 10 minutes without protection. Beyond this, the skin would experience the burning effect of UV rays. A sunscreen with SPF 30 will allow one person to stay under the sun for 300 minutes (30 x 10 minutes) or 5 hours without getting burned, while one with SPF 50 will keep the skin protected for 500 minutes (a little more than 8 hours).
Perhaps SPF 30 is good enough since no one would really stay under the sun for more than 5 hours straight. After dipping in the water, one must also reapply sunscreen. And remember that the greatest sun damage happens during 10 AM to 3 PM so make sure to stay under the shade at this period!