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What SPF Is Best for Your Face?
Want to know what SPF is best for your face? Find out how to choose the right SPF product that complements your skin type and complexion.
Repeat after us: “I will apply SPF to my face daily. No excuses.”
Let’s face it, there isn’t a good excuse to skip the SPF—at least, not anymore.
Skin care companies have gone above and beyond to fix all your biggest sunscreen woes, from acne breakouts to skin irritation to the annoying, white residue that some sunscreens leave behind on the skin.
All you need to do is find the right SPF product that will make sun protection a daily habit.
If you’re wondering what SPF is best for your face, allow us to steer you in the right direction.
Before we dive in, here are three things you should know before choosing a SPF for your face:
- For everyday use, choose a SPF level of 15 or higher.
- Sunscreen products with high SPF ratings may create a false sense of security.
- To make sun protection a routine habit, look for a SPF that complements your skin type and complexion.
First, a Quick Lesson in SPF
Before you can pick the right SPF for your face, you first need to understand how it works.
SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen product will protect your skin against UVB rays.
Specifically, the number indicates how long it would take your skin to redden.
So, for example, a product with SPF 20 means that it would take your skin 20 times longer to burn than if you didn’t apply sunscreen at all.
In theory, a high SPF would give you greater protection from the sun.
However, products with high SPF ratings tend to create a false sense of security that can increase the risk of sunburn.
For this reason, many skin care experts don’t recommend sunscreen products with SPF 70 to 100.GOT WRINKLES?
What Level of SPF Do I Need for My Face?
If you’re going to be exercising or working outside for an extended period of time, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a SPF of 30 or higher.
But what if you’re planning to spend all day indoors?
In that case, you should still use a daily SPF 15 or higher to protect your skin.
UVA rays, which are responsible for causing premature wrinkles and sunspots, can penetrate through windows, according to a study published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine (see claim: “Laminated glass totally blocked UVA radiation, while smooth ordinary glass transmitted the highest dose (74.3%).)
No matter which SPF you choose or where you spend your time, remember that you still need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen and SPF for Your Face
So, what SPF is best for your face?
It depends on several factors.
Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing a daily SPF for your face.
1. Consider Your Skin Complexion
It’s no secret that darker skin tones can get away with using a sunscreen with a lower SPF.
The reason comes down to having more melanin in the skin, which offers increased protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays.
If you have a darker skin tone, it’s still a good idea to use a SPF 15 or higher.
Contrary to popular belief, people with dark skin can get sunburnt.
If you have extremely fair skin, a SPF of 30 or greater is your best bet.
2. Pay Attention to Your Skin Type
The best SPF for your face is one that you feel comfortable using—and reapplying—day after day.
To find your ideal match, choose a daily moisturizer with SPF that is formulated for your skin type.
For instance, do you have acne-prone skin?
Look for a lightweight SPF product that won’t clog your pores.
Do you have sensitive skin?
Choose an ultra-gentle sunscreen formulated for your sensitive complexion that you feel good about putting on your face.TAKE THE SKIN CARE QUIZ
3. Look for Broad-Spectrum Protection
When shopping for a SPF for your face, be sure to keep an eye for a sunscreen that is labeled “broad-spectrum.”
This label indicates that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
All SPF products are measured by their ability to block UVB rays, which are known to cause skin cancer and sunburn.
UVA rays can also contribute to skin cancer (though, not as much) and lead to premature skin aging.
Make sure that you read the packaging carefully to gain maximum protection against both types of UV rays.
Choosing the Best SPF for Your Face
We know that applying sunscreen to your face every day can be a chore.
That’s why finding the right SPF product for your face is key to making sun protection a daily habit.
By choosing a SPF that complements your skin type, complexion and lifestyle, you can protect your skin every day—no effort required.
Duarte, Ida, et al. “The Role of Glass as a Barrier against the Transmission of Ultraviolet Radiation: An Experimental Study.” Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, vol. 25, no. 4, 2009, pp. 181–84. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0781.2009.00434.x.