The truth about SPF 

Have you ever wondered what those numbers really mean? SPF15, 30, 50.

I thought I knew but this week I was schooled in SPF. Turns out a higher number doesn’t give you that much better sun protection.

Until now I thought I needed at least SPF30 living in Australia. SPF50 – even better I assumed.

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But we should never assume and thanks to beauty guru and super awesome lady Zoe Foster Blake, I learnt what SPF really means and just in time for the warmer weather.

Are you ready?

It’s all about how long your skin is protected from burning.

For example, if you burn after 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, using an SPF15 offers 300 minutes protection (20 x 15). For an SPF30, that’s 600 minutes (20 x 30).

Obviously the higher the SPF, the better the longevity, but if you’re like me and spend most of your day inside, SPF15 is actually just fine.

If you’re a lifeguard or landscape architect, this is where I say go for 50.

What’s also important to keep in mind, other than SPF, are the other ingredients in the moisturising sunscreen that will hydrate, prime and protect the skin. It’s a team effort really.

To say this new information pleased me is an under statement. It now means there are a whole lot of new moisturisers I can try, that I previously wouldn’t have let near my face.

I suppose you can call me an SPF snob but here’s why.

I am obsessed with sun protection because applying sunscreen is the best thing you can do to slow down your skin’s ageing process and really who wants those fine lines and wrinkles to come any sooner than they have to.

Now that we’ve cleared that SPF business up, here are some other really important bits of information about sunscreen, so your skin can be armed and protected.

SPF15 protects you from 94% of UVB rays – the ones that cause you to burn. SPF30 offers 97% protection and SPF50 gives you 98% protection.

Broad spectrum is your best bet because it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. The UVA ones cause your skin to age.

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You should also decide if you want to use a chemical sunscreen or physical one. You can read more about which one is best for your skin here.

I am all about the physical sunscreen. I have tried Invisible Zinc SPF30 (read my verdict here) and have been giving asap moisturising daily defence SPF50 a go for the last couple of months. I’ll be reviewing that one soon.

Something that’s also super exciting is Zoe Foster Blake has created a physical sunscreen as part of her Go-To range called Zincredible, which launched this week. I bought one and it’s in the mail. Yay! It’s SPF15 so I am already a changed woman.

On the chemical side of things, my favourite sunscreens have to be Mecca superscreens. The SPF30 in the white tube is so great under makeup and you can get the SPF50 which is in the black tube.