Editorials

The importance of SPF protection

28 June 2021

By Josh P

With incredible weather recently returning to the UK, many people will find themselves making the most of the sun and spending time outdoors. Will they be using SPF protection though?

While you can’t argue with making the most of good weather in the UK, many people who spend large periods of time in the sun often neglect the importance of wearing SPF.

Some of us will have experienced sunburn in the past and vowed to use sunscreen the next time, only to end up getting sunburnt again. Despite these countless uncomfortable burns, many of us aren’t learning from our mistakes.

While some people may think SPF protection gets in the way of building up a tan, the importance of good protection is massive. While the short-term benefit of using SPF protection is to prevent sunburns, the long term benefits are far more important.

The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that exposure to even one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life. This statistic shows starkly how heavy the long-term impact of sun exposure can be.

The Skin Cancer Foundation also states that receiving five or more sunburns in our lifetimes can also double the chance of developing melanoma. With such a huge increase in chance, it is clear how important proper sun protection is.

With such a high increased probability of serious skin cancer, it is definitely clear why prevention is key. By using SPF protection, you protect yourself not only in the short-term but also in the long run. And while these figures show the importance of SPF sunscreen, how does it actually work?

SPF itself stands for ‘sun protection factor’, and this basically refers to how much UV light is allowed through it. The higher the SPF factor, the more UV light it blocks.

In essence, SPF protection seeks to decrease the level of exposure we receive from ultraviolet light. The liquid forms a barrier which only allows a small percentage of these harmful rays to penetrate and damage our skin.

spf-beach

This protection from ultraviolet rays makes spending long durations in the sunlight much safer for our skin and decreases risks of future health conditions dramatically.

It is extremely obvious that good SPF sunscreen has huge importance in preventing long term irreversible damage to our skin and without it, our risk factors heighten significantly.

With a heatwave expected to hit the UK this summer, many people will spend considerable time out in the sun. With the clear benefits of using SPF protection laid out, hopefully more people will take protection from the sun more seriously.

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