SPF is an abbreviation that gets thrown around a lot in the skincare community. And you might wonder, what is SPF exactly? Or why is it necessary at all?

The closest thing you can think of is sunscreen, and you are not wrong, but there’s more to the story. Here’s the answer to your questions, along with a few pro tips you must know.

What Is SPF?

SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’. It is a standard measure to understand how well your sunscreen protects against the sun. So the higher the number on your sunscreen, the better protection it provides from UV rays.

Why Is SPF Important?

Even dermatologists recommend using sunscreen, and here’s why you should start using one right now.

● Wrinkles, fine lines, discolouration and other signs of premature ageing start to show up when you don’t use sunscreen. This change happens because UV rays damage your skin cells, elastin, and collagen.

● Using sunscreen lowers your risk of getting skin cancer. One must use it even on cloudy days because UV rays are not visible to the naked eyes.

● Exposing our skin to the sun causes uneven skin tone and tan, usually a shade or two darker than your normal skin tone. The problem here is not the dark skin but the unevenness of colour throughout your body.

● Redness and inflammation are common skin issues that arise after spending a long day in direct sunlight. So, people with sensitive skin types must use to avoid such problems.

Also Read: 10 SPF makeup products you need for sun protection

Common Myths About Sunscreen

Here’s a list of common myths about Sunscreen that you should steer clear of.

● Dark Skinned People Don’t Need Sunscreen

Just because your skin has more melanin doesn’t mean you can entirely eliminate your SPF in your daily skincare routine. Plus, there’s also a study which shows how dark-coloured people are more prone to having skin cancer.

● Applying SPF once is enough.

No! One application of sunscreen will not last you all day. Experts recommend that you must apply sunscreen after every 2 to 4 hours because the contents are broken down due to the sunrays and lose their effectivity in a short duration.

Also Read: 8 Beauty Products with SPF for Summer

● Makeup Can Replace Sunscreen

A thick layer of makeup might protect your skin from directly coming in contact with UV rays, but that’s about it. But as much as some makeup products come with added SPF, they can never replace something specialising in providing sun protection.

● Sunscreen Is Waterproof

If you are spending your day on the beach or pool, you still need sunscreen because it is NOT waterproof. Regardless of what the packaging says, you must re-apply your sunscreen after a dip in the ocean.

Quick SPF Tips

● Sunscreen is not just for the face but your entire body. And especially the areas which are directly exposed to sun rays.

● The best way to include SPF in daily skincare routine is by shopping for everyday products that have SPF, such as moisturisers, foundations, etc.

● You can use products with SPF, but your clothing can also provide protection from the sun and act like SPF. So, never forget your hats, sunglasses, scarves, etc.

● Your lips are also prone to sun damage and tanning, but somehow, they are the most neglected part of the face when it comes to sunscreens. So, don’t forget your lips the next time you use them! You can also invest in lip balms that have SPF.

Now that you know most things about SPF, from facts and myths to tips, you can do a little experiment yourself. Apply Sunscreen to only one hand and go out in the sun for a few hours; come back and compare the results. You will surely notice a difference, which is why you must use SPF.

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