News & Tips

A Lesson in SPF


Given our non-existent summer this year it’s a timely reminder that you don’t need sun to burn!

I have seen soooooo many sunburned faces and body’s in the last week I thought I would remind everyone how the sun and burning works. An SPF can only do so much and reapplying only works if you are still within your burn time.

How long can you stay in the sun?

To understand an SPF – a sun protection factor, you first need to know how an SPF is calculated?

Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time.

For example if you burn WITHOUT A SUNSCREEN IN 10 MINUTES, and you apply an SPF 30+ you theoretically can stay in the sun for 30 x 10mins, that’s 300 minutes or FIVE HOURS!

But here is where it all goes terribly wrong!

1. When testing for SPF’s – testing is conducted by lathering the body in sun cream,in reality sun lovers use HALF the amount (many even less) used in testing, so their protection is closer to 2-2.5 hours – one of the main reasons why people SUNBURN!

2. Once your burn time for the day is up, you cannot reapply your SPF and start again!

Think of it like putting a chicken in the oven, if you take it out mid cooking, when you put it back in it remains half cooked, you don’t start cooking time from scratch. Once your burn time has expired you are cooked, you can’t reapply SPF and start again.

Simply said you need to go inside and stay right out of the sun for AT LEAST the next 24 hours!

3. If you chose to use anything higher than an SPF30+ (the most popular being a 50+ but they go as high as a 70+) you are probably opting for a chemical sunscreen, one I refer to in most cases as a “chemical shit storm!”.

A better option is using a 30+ mineral based SPF that is well applied, reapplied if it is towel dried or frictioned off and simply getting out of the sun when your natural burn time is up.

4. SPF 50+ and over gives people the false perception that they can stay in the sun all day. Just remember when the chicken is cooked, it’s cooked, you can’t uncook it, so reapplying is not helpful at this time.

5. If you return to the sun and your skin is already sunburned your burn time is dramatically reduced and no SPF will protect already compromised skin.

Always remember the skin is the largest organ of the body , treat it with respect because at the end of the day ONE WAY OR ANOTHER IT WILL GET THE LAST SAY!


Maria Enna-Cocciolone

Inskin Cosmedics