Is SPF 25 Enough, or Do I Need SPF 50+?

Skin Care
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Dear Nicki,
for real SPF protection, what is the Lowest SPF factor one should use?….I’ve seen a lot of spf25, but think this may be to low…Is spf45 high enough?
Also Do you think physical or chemical sunscreens more effective?Thanks MUCH!
Linda
Dear Linda,
I always go with SPF 50+.
But, to be honest, there is not *that* much difference on a daily basis from SPF 25 to SPF 50:  To figure out your level of protection, divide 1 by the SPF number. That equals the percentage of rays that are allowed to pass through. So SPF 25: 1/25 = 4% of rays pass through. SPF 50 = 1/50 = 2% of rays pass through.
I always go with the higher number because:
1.) I figure that we never put on as much sunscreen as we have to in order to get the level of protection on the bottle;
2.) Sunscreens tend to wear off or break down with regular wear after just a few hours;
3.) Sun damage is a cumulative process.
I look at going in the sun like taking money out of the bank: Little bits here and there really add up. So I would rather protect myself from 4% of rays on a daily basis than 2%. That’s just me.
As far as physical vs. chemical sunscreens go, both have been proven effective against
both UVA and UVB rays.  I personally prefer physical sunscreens (i.e., titanium oxide, zinc oxide) to chemical sunscreens (i.e., oxybenzone, avobenzone) because titanium and zinc oxides protect UV rays from hitting the skin altogether, whereas chemical sunscreens convert UV rays into other forms of energy, such as heat or non-damaging forms of light. Many dermatologists use a chemical sunscreen with a physical sunscreen layered over top. I personally just use a physical sunscreen and reapply often.
Hope that this helps!
Sincerely,
Nicki

by Nicki Zevola

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