Have you ever stopped and wondered what it actually means when you buy a product like Blue Lizard sunscreen SPF 50? What does the 50 refer to? Is that good? Well, that’s something we aim to clear up here, as we look at a subject that, to be honest, confuses a lot of people.
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Ok, we’ll start by telling you that SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it’s a measure of the risk of skin damage that comes from the sun. This measure basically demonstrates the time it takes for the sun’s rays to penetrate through the sunscreen applied and cause sunburn.
The equation is worked out scientifically by taking the sun’s radiation and dividing it by time it would take to get sunburnt without wearing it. The calculation is also based on 2mg of sunscreen being applied per cm2 of the surface of the skin.
30x Longer = SPF 30
The easiest way to look at it would be to take a theoretical situation where it takes the skin 30 times longer to burn with sunscreen on than it would without it. This equates rather neatly to an SPF 30, with Blue Lizard Sunscreen SPF 50 ensuring that it takes 50 times longer to burn the skin.
We’ll get onto it in a second, but what this doesn’t describe is the protection it provides against UV rays, as that’s something else. First, let’s look at some of the complicating factors…
- The prevailing weather conditions on the day
- How well the sunscreen has been applied
- How much of the sunscreen has been applied
- What part of the day it is
- The type of skin you have
Amazingly, research has shown that most of us only use around ½ the amount we’re supposed to when applying sunscreen, so it’s going to have an impact on the protection that’s afforded.
The Percentages of UV Rays Stopped
It’s natural to think that an SPF 15 would offer around 50% of the protection provided by an SPF 30, but that’s a little simplistic. What you’ll find is that Blue Lizard sunscreen SPF 50 only offers around 5% more protection than a similar product rated as an SPF 15.
Here’s how it breaks down…
SPF 15 repels around 93% of all UV rays, whereas an SPF 30 offers protection against 97%. Jumping up to SPF 50, that kind of product will offer around 98%. Despite drastically extending the time it takes for the skin to burn, the UV protection doesn’t change much from top to bottom.
It’s still important to wear the right SPF, but don’t pay too much attention to the numbers being used.
We Hope This Clears Up Some Misconceptions
When purchasing products like Blue Lizard sunscreen SPF 50, it’s vital that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. It can be quite confusing if you focus on the wrong things, but we hope that by reading our blog, we’ll have cleared quite a few things up in this regard.
It’s not too complicated once you know how these things work and now you’re equipped to better protect yourself and your family. This is, after, what it’s all about.