Information Regarding SPF Numbers and UV Exposure
Knowledge You Need to Protect Yourself
Risks associated with excessive exposure to UV radiation can result in detrimental health effects, including possible burns and even skin cancer. Do not stay too long in the sun, even while using a sunscreen product. Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight. Over-exposure to the sun is a serious health risk.
The SPF number on a sunscreen product shows its rated effectiveness. For example, a product with SPF 6-14 provides low protection, 15-29 provides moderate protection, 30-49 provides high protection, and 50+ provides very high protection against UV radiation.
Consumers should know their own skin type to make wise decisions about which SPF product suits their needs. A good guide to follow would be The Fitzpatrick Skin-Type Chart:
Apply the sunscreen product before exposure. Frequent re-application of sunscreen products is crucial. Reapply sunscreen frequently to maintain protection, especially after perspiring, swimming, or toweling. Moreover, in order to reach the protection level indicated by the sun protection factor, sunscreen products have to be applied in quantities similar to the ones used for testing, i.e. 2 mg/cm2, which equals 6 teaspoons of lotion for the body of one average adult person. Applying a smaller quantity of sunscreen product leads to a disproportionate reduction in protection. If the quantity applied is reduced by half, protection may fall by as much as two-thirds.