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Sun protection index: meaning, who to choose?

Sunscreen contains sun protection, also known as SPF. What does it relate to? What is the main index? 30? 50? How to choose it? According to his skin? Since his first appearance on the beach? From what index do we heat? Definitions and tables to make the right decision.

Sun cream, oil and gel have sun protection factoralso called “Sun Protection Factor” (FPS or SPF). A very high index, this product protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun., which cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer. Knowing that The sun protection index is not the same as the UV index which reflects the intensity of ultraviolet rays from the sun, which is visible Weather map. What is sun protection? Why? choose according to your skin tone and color ? Starting from time spent in the sun? On the beach or in the mountains? What about us? if we wear sunscreen with a high factor? Know everything.

Definition: What is sunscreen?

The higher the SPF, the higher the protection provided by the sunscreen.

The sun protection index (SPF for Sun Protection Factor, SPF for Sun Protection Factor or IP for Protection Index) is shown on the sunscreen label. It is expressed in numbers and it looks at the effectiveness of this product to slow down UVB radiation on the skin. UVB light is what causes sunburn, which causes skin cancer. The higher the SPF, the higher the protection provided by the sunscreen. The European Commission has decided to introduce a group of sun protection products that are self-sustaining 8 different numbers for text in 4 categories: low security, medium security, full security and full security. “If you are in the sun, cover yourself with warm clothes, a hat and sunglasses. If you don’t have clothes, apply sunscreen (at least 30 index, even better index 50) every two to three hours, especially in areas at risk of cancer (face, neck, shoulders, forearms, hands, etc.).“, insists Dr Isabelle Rousseaux, dermatologist, who was interviewed in June 2021 on the issue of warning about skin cancer.

Table: what do the sun protection symbols mean?

Installation of sun protection signs
Security team Sunscreens indicated on the label
Low security 6-10
Central security 15-20-25
Great security 30-50
Great protection 50+
The sunscreen is SPF 30 © crazy – 123RF

The sun protection index is calculated in the following order: 1/index. For example, for cream 30 cream, the amount of UV transmission will be 1/30 or 3.33%. For 10 creams, the amount of UV transmission will be 1/10, or 10%. For cream 50 cream, the amount of UV transmission will be 1/50, or 2%.

For the correct sun protection index, it is important to consider it skin color and exposure to the sun. Refer to the table below to select your solar index.

Choose your index according to your skin type and your exposure to the sun
Low exposure (outdoor lifestyle) High exposure (at the beach, outdoor activities) High exposure (in the tropics, snow, skiing…)
Very sensitive skin (a person with milky white skin, freckles, red hair, always in the sun, with a history of skin cancer) Great security Great protection Great protection
Sensitive skin (people with light skin, usually have a few freckles or strawberry brown or auburn hair, usually tanned but have a tan) Central security Great security Great protection
Medium skin (a fair-skinned person who burns easily, only gets sunburned when he is in the hottest part of the day) Limited Security Central security Great security
Sensitive skin (people with fair skin without sunburn) Limited Security Limited Security Central security
UVA logo
UVA logo © Ministry of Finance

► Make sure your sunscreen contains, in addition to the SPF index which indicates the level of UVB filtering, UVA logo. It is a guarantee of adequate protection against UV rays which cause premature aging of the skin. This indicator is not required but is recommended and used by many professionals.

No full screen: sunscreen products cannot claim to be 100% protected from UV radiation (expressions such as “full coverage” or “full protection” are prohibited).

Don’t confuse “sun protection products” with so-called “sunscreens”., such as self-heating or heat-repelling substances (Monoï, milk fat, etc.). These do not provide protection against UVA and UVB rays and should not be used as such.

What is the greatest sunscreen?

The highest sun protection factor is 50+. It equates to the highest level of security. This index means that the cream “allows” only 2% of UVB radiation, but must be reapplied every two hours. It should be used on sensitive skin after extreme sun exposure (beach, outdoor activities, tropical areas, ice water) and sensitive skin after extreme sun exposure (tropical areas, on ice water). ).

Do you wash with sunscreen, 30 or 50?

Yes. High index, even 50, filters “only” 98% of UV light, so the skin will remain is reflected by 2% UV which is released by the sun, so that the protected skin will fold slowly, avoiding sunburn and the risk of skin cancer. Know that 15 minutes in the sun is enough to start the heating system. Using a sunscreen with a high level of protection will delay the time when the amount of UV light is the highest on the skin and cause sunburn, making it impossible to be exposed to the sun in the following days.

Sunglasses sun protection index: which one should you choose?

When attached to the glasses, the sun protection product is represented the level of protection of the tinted lens of the glasses. “Always wear glasses and good safety index (from 3 at least4 for children or if you go to the mountains or the beach), wearing glasses CE mark which guarantees European compatibility and which are effective in filtering UV rays”, praises Valérie Rubio, optometrist with Générale d’Optique diploma and pediatric specialist.

Sun protection for glasses
Group Use it About when? The amount of filtered light
0 Fun glasses for fun Avoidance < 19%
1 less sunlight Less sunlight, while the sky is gray and cloudy Between 20 and 57%
2 Average sunlight Light in the middle of the sun, except in summer Between 58 and 82%
3 Strong sunlight Strong light, summer (beach, sea) and winter (mountains and skiing) Between 83 and 92%
4 Very bright Extreme (alpinism in high mountains or on glaciers), group prohibited to drive because they change the vision and appearance of the nation Between 92 and 97%

Source: Ministry of Economy.Gov / Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention / National Consumer Institute (INC)

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