Health and Beauty

Lavera Skin Care North America

Skin Care—Then and Now: Sunscreen

Generations ago, the best known way to protect yourself from the sun was to wear long-sleeved clothes or a bonnet. The effects of the sun were clear when people ventured into the beaming light with no protection and ended up with bad visible burns. Now, the science and understanding of the sun’s rays and the effect they have on skin has advanced to the point where only sunscreen needs to be applied to provide your body with the protection it needs. Throughout the years, sunscreens have taken a dramatic turn for the better when it comes to skin protection. (See Sunscreen Through the Years . )

Although the SPF on a bottle of sunscreen is commonly referred to when shopping for sun protection, few clients actually know what the number system means. The SPF of a sunscreen tells you two things: how long you can stay in the sun and how well the formula filters the sun’s rays. First, if you take the amount of minutes you can stay in the sun before turning pink and then multiply that number by the SPF rating, you get the amount of time you can spend in the sun using that sunscreen. For example, if you are normally able to stay in the sun for 10 minutes without burning and the SPF of your sunscreen formula is 20, and it is applied correctly, your sunscreen will protect you for 200 minutes before your skin starts to burn. How well the formula filters the suns rays goes as follows.