What exactly is SPF or sun protection factor and what does it mean?
The simple answer is that it is the ability of a sun scream to shield your skin from the harmful rays of the sun for a particular amount of time before your skin will burn.
Of course we all have different skin types and some of us burn a lot quicker than others, so here is how you calculate the SPF you need for your skin type.
By way of example, let ‘s say that your skin (unprotected) turns red after 10 minutes exposure to the sun.
You expect to spend 2 hours or 120 minutes in the sun and do not want to burn.
You would need an SPF of more than 12 in order not to burn (120 divide 10)
That is the simple rule of thumb and is widely accepted all over the world as a reliable measure of what is required to prevent harmful burning.
You could of course use the mathematical calculation for SPF, but this is a lot easier.
It is important to remember that the sun will have different effects on your skin depending on where you are, what season it is, the cloud cover etc.
As with most things, common sense is your best weapon. If it feels as though you are burning, you probably are! Apply more sun protection cream.