With Summer arriving in the not-too-distant future, it’s recommended that you equip yourself with an SPF stick or something similar to avoid UV damage. The trouble is, there’s a variety of different SPF factor products on the market, so how can you tell which is right for you? 

There is a tendency for consumers to assume that the higher the number attached to the SPF, the better, but that’s not always the case. So, with this at the front of our minds, let’s examine some of the information you’ll need to consider before understanding what your ideal product looks like. 

What Numbers Refer to On An SPF Stick

SPF basically stands for sun protection factor, and products falling under this category will help to provide a barrier past that the sun can’t get. It’s not impervious, but it does stop the vast majority of UV waves from getting to the skin.

Conventional wisdom teaches us that the maximum time it takes for a person’s skin to burn is 20 minutes and the number you see on your sunscreen products relates to the multiples of 20 minutes you can spend in the sun with it on. 

For example, if an SPF stick is an SPF15, it will allow you to spend 15 times longer in the sun before you burn. So, 15 x 20 minutes is 5 hours, although it should be caveated by saying that it needs to be reapplied every two hours during those five hours for protection to be maintained. 

So, from there, an SPF30 product means you can spend 30x longer in the sun, with an SPF50 obviously allowing you to spend 50x longer in the sun. What shouldn’t be overlooked is that you can still burn in the sun given enough time, so it’s not complete protection. 

Typically Speaking, SPF30 Is Usually Ok For Most People 

Truth be known, an SPF30 product is usually sufficient for most people’s sunscreen needs. Offering protection against up to 97% of all UV rays, you’re going to be well-covered for up to 10 hours of exposure as long as you adhere to reapplication guidelines.

All that said, what also needs to be considered is whether you’re a fair-skinned person. If you are, and you burn more easily than most, it’s probably best to go for an SPF50 and ensure you wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and clothing that covers most of your exposed skin. 

Choosing the Right SPF Stick Is Important 

As the largest organ in the human body, your skin needs protection. Healthy skin is a gift that shouldn’t be thrown away through a lack of focus on sun protection. As such, getting the right sunscreen for your unique individual needs is vital. 

Most people will be perfectly fine with an SPF30 or even an SPF15 if we’re talking about an hour or two per day out in the sunshine. However, if you feel that you’re going to be exposed to sunlight all day or you happen to have fair skin that’s quick to burn, go for an SPF50, as you need all the help you can get.

It’s pretty much always best to be cautious when talking about sunscreen, you could end up burnt, meaning an increased chance of melanoma. That’s a threat that everyone can use to motivate themselves to put it on whenever the sun has its hat on.