What dermatologists are recommending for adequate sun protection.

14 07 23 SPF100

With a large variety in the amount of SPF found in sunscreens in the beauty aisle, deciding what products are the best choices for you poses difficult. Products that tote an SPF 100 claim seem like the obvious choice—the higher the number, the higher the protection, right? Dr. Dianne Wong, owner of Glow Medi Spa, helps to shed light on this claim and clear up a common misconception.

The SPF value of a sunscreen denotes the protection against UVB rays only: “SPF of 15 offers 93 per cent protection, SPF of 30 offers 96.7 per cent protection, and an SPF of 60 offers 97.7 per cent protection. In general, an SPF 30 sunscreen suffices, but it should also be broad-spectrum to protect against UVA rays as well.”

The key to effective sun protection is applying enough sunscreen: even if you are using an SPF 30, if you don’t apply enough, you won’t receive that 96.7 per cent coverage. “Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours therafter or after activities such as swimming, sweating, or towel drying. The average adult should use 35 mL for the entire body (that’s equivalent to one shot glass). Most people don’t apply enough,” cautions Dr. Wong.

We can layer on the sunscreens in the morning, but for added protection, opt for mineral makeup, which can help deflect some of the UV rays.

TIP: Keep an eye out for lip colours and balms that offer SPF protection—lip skin is very thin and sensitive, meaning it can burn very easily!