SPF 101

SPF 101

My number one skincare tip is: wear sunscreen! This is a non-negotiable for all of my clients who wish to improve the appearance of their skin. Yes, sunscreen is just that important!

UV Rays

Sunlight is broken down into three categories: Visible Light, Ultraviolet Light, and Infrared Light. Ultraviolet Radiation aka "UV rays" are  the culprit responsible for skin aging and skin cancer. Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVA B) damage skin in their own unique waysUVA rays have a longer depth of penetration. reaching the skin's deepest layer (dermis). They are responsible for wrinkling, skin cancer, and unwanted pigment. UVB rays are shorter in length and affect the uppermost layer of skin. These are the rays that cause sunburn. To help you remember think: UVA (Aging rays) and UVB (Burning rays).

**Did you know?: "Ray" is short for radiation? Yikes! When you put it that way, it sounds a lot more serious!!

Skin Cancer

You may be wondering why the heck this is so important. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer. It ranks among some of the most common forms of cancer. No sunscreen can protect you from 100% of the sun's rays, but a good quality sunscreen can get pretty darn close. 

Slight caveat here: A major misconception in the African American community is that due to the high concentration of melanin in the skin, sunscreen is not necessary. Granted it does prolong the time it takes darker skin to burn, but it does not prevent it from happening. African Americans are the largest and fastest demographic dying from skin cancer. As an African American woman who grew up believing the same, it is my responsibility to educate and debunk this myth. 

Finding the right SPF

SPF stands for sun protection factor. This number measures the sunscreen's ability to protect from UVB rays. (Note: this does not measure the impact of UVA rays.) When looking for a sunscreen you should always find a broad spectrum version. this will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers give a false sense of security as the percentage of protection only increases by 1% per increase in number. Example a SPF 45 is only 1 % more effective than an SPF 30. 

Bonus Tip:  When applied, you should allow your sunscreen to set for 3-5 minutes before moving onto the next step in your beauty or makeup regimen.

Here's the formula to determine how long your spf will protect you. (Usual Time To Burn * SPF = Protection Time). If it takes you 15 minutes to burn and SPF 30 keeps your protected for 465 minutes. (15 minutes * SPF 30 = 465 minutes).

If you aren't wearing sunscreen daily, now is the time to start. Damage caused by the Sun's UV rays can not be reversed. If you are not wearing sunscreen daily, now is the time to start.  If you would like to know more about protecting your skin contact Legare Beauty for a FREE skincare consultation.


[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LarP17NzoL8&t=2364s

[2] Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 11th Edition 

[3] https://blog.bulletproof.com/the-bulletproof-guide-to-sunscreen-and-sun-protection/

[4] https://www.thinkheyday.com/blog/all-sunscreen-basics-you-need-know-summer-kicks/