Know the right SPF product for you

Know the right SPF product for you

Know the right SPF product for you

from GMA Network

If the abundance of Boracay-bound locals isn’t enough to convince you that summer is upon us, then the searing heat should.

Many products proudly display SPF on their labels, so having options is not a problem. Choosing the right one that will protect your skin (with its own unique traits) however, is a different story.

Step 1: Choose your product type

The only difference between sunblock and sunscreen is the way they handle the sun’s rays.

Sunblock will reflect these rays while sunscreen will absorb them. On a cosmetics level though, sunblock is thicker and will leave a white cast over the face when applied. Sunscreen tends to be lighter and more translucent but offers less protection, thus will need to be reapplied more often.

If you’re the type who prioritizes comfort over reapplication, then sunscreen might be the choice for you.

Step 2: Know how much SPF your skin needs

Sun protection is all about melanin—the agent naturally produced in the epidermis that block the sun’s UV rays. Fair skinned women have less melanin than darker skin tones, thus making them burn faster when exposed to the sun.

Contrary to popular belief, a bigger SPF number doesn’t mean greater sun protection. It’s actually a representation of the amount of time you’re protected from the sun. For example, if you would normally take 10 minutes to burn, then a product with SPF 20 will protect you for 200 minutes (10 minutes to burn x 20 SPF).

Before picking the right SPF product, knowledge of your own skin is a must. Do a mandatory test without any product protection before jumping into shelves. Watch how long your skin reacts to the sun then pick the SPF number your skin will need.

Step 3: Pick a broad spectrum product

There are two types of harmful rays you should be wary of: UVA and UVB.

UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper but won’t burn as much as UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate windows, screens even clothing, begging the need to apply SPF despite being indoors. These rays are also responsible for aging woes such as wrinkles, pigmentation and lines. Protection against UVA rays is addressed through “PA+” ratings (also commonly displayed on labels), the more “+’s” the PA rating has, the greater the protection from UVA rays.

UVB rays on the other hand, tan and burn the skin but more alarmingly, is the culprit behind melanoma (skin cancer). UVB rays are addressed through SPF ratings.

Luckily for us, broad spectrum SPFs (that can protect from both UVA and UVB rays) are readily available on the market. Picking the one that suits you is a mere matter of preference.

Step 3: Shop

Face product

Most SPF products for the face come in the form of sunscreen or sunblock, skin care or makeup.

Sunscreen or sunblock: To get the most potent SPF, sunscreen or sunblock is the way to go. The only setback is that this usually means an additional step to your skincare and makeup routine in the morning.

Skin care: Moist moisturizers and serums add SPF into their mix of benefits. Not only do these products multitask, they also give your money more mileage.

Makeup: At least for women, this variant comes in very handy. Some primers, foundation, BB creams and concealers offer SPF perks. The reason why these big beauty brands have piled on the sun protection with their makeup is because women are more willing to reapply them throughout the day versus slathering a thick sunblock on their face.

Body product

Choosing between sprays or lotions has no real major difference and is mainly about what the consumer likes. Sprays are less greasy and are more convenient to apply but lotions don’t require as much reapplication.

Regardless of form, it’s of utmost importance to apply SPF both on the face and the body. Just take into account your own comfort levels and your willingness to reapply. These factors will weigh in greatly when choosing the best SPF product for you. —KG, GMA News