Skincare- What Does SPF50 Mean?


What Does SPF50 Mean? 

SPF-50-When we spend time in the sun for long hours we are exposed to harmful rays. There are two predominant rays that affect our skin.

UVA- long wave ultraviolet

UVB- short wave ultraviolet

UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and cause photoaging resulting in premature aging of the skin, wrinkles and age spots or sunspots. This is more prominent on the facial skin as it is very delicate compared to other parts of our body.

How Much Do You Really Know about the Sunscreen You Use? 

Sunscreen comes in various SPF (Sun Protection Factor) for use depending on the intensity of the sunlight and the hours we expose our skin to the sunlight. The SPF in the Sun protection creams usually starts from as low as 15, all the way to 60.  Usually, these numbers are suffixed to the letters SPF such as SPF20, SPF30, etc. These numbers are useful in knowing how much the cream can protect you against Sun’s harmful rays. Higher the number better the protection. That doesn’t mean you have to use only the sunscreens with higher SPF value. Use different SPF creams for different skin types and the hours of exposure.

What Does SPF50 Mean to Different Types of Skin Tones?

SPF50 denotes moderate to a high amount of sun protection factor which allows only 2% of UVB rays to penetrate your skin instead of 100% without sunscreen. A sunscreen with 30+ gives 96.7% protection from Sun’s harmful rays.

However, there are various factors that can limit the efficiency of a sunscreen. This includes the skin tone, physical activity, sweat and water exposure.

SPF50 Requirement for Various Skin Types and Hours of Exposure

Before we get into skin types it is important to know about melanin. It is a broad name for the collection of pigment cells which determines our skin, hair and eye color. Evidently there is less melanin content in fair-skinned people. Dark people have more melanin content in their skin which turns out that they have higher protection from the Sun’s rays compared to fair-skinned people as melanin gives some amount of natural sun protection. Hence, it is wise to choose the SPF value based on these factors.

People with fair skin or very fair skin have little to no melanin pigment so they need to use a sunscreen with a high SPF value ideally SPF30+ and SPF50. It doesn’t mean that dark-skinned people should always go for low SPF sunscreens like SPF10. If their skin is exposed to the sun for long hours they will also need sunscreen with SPF50.

What Does SPF50 Mean for Fair Skin People?

If you have fair skin and you are out in the sun for more than one hour, apply SPF50 sunscreen 20 minutes before you go out in the sun and reapply every 30 minutes depending on the activity. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if you sweat or indulge in water activities.

What Does SPF50 Mean for People with Dark Skin?

If you are dark-skinned and you are exposed to the sun for more than 3 hours use a sunscreen with SPF 50 before you go out in the sun. Reapply sunscreen once every hour and use a water-resistant SPF50 for your outdoor gym and swimming pool classes.


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