Doctors always urge people to put on generous amounts of sunscreen before stepping out into the sun. The benefits of using sunscreen are well-documented. They help battle the devastating effects of ultraviolet radiation and other harmful elements in the sun’s rays. In effect, by doing so, sunscreens are able to minimize the risk of users developing skin cancer. However, in order to enjoy the benefits of applying sunscreen on a regular basis, you should know the answer to the question: how long does sunscreen last. The answer to this question will help determine how often you should apply sunscreen to be protected from the sun’s rays.
In answering the question ‘how long does sunscreen last?’, a number of factors need to be taken into account. If you think you can survive an entire day out in the sun with a single coating of sunscreen, you might be painfully mistaken. It is important to delve further into figuring out how long sunscreen lasts so that you can enjoy its benefits to the fullest. If you do not know the answer to this question, you might expose yourself to the harmful rays of the sun despite being under the impression that you are being protected by your sunscreen. Likewise, if you’re not sure about the answer to how long does sunscreen last, you might overuse sunscreen and risk premature aging.
The first factor that you should take into account in order to determine the answer to the question ‘how long does sunscreen last?’ is the sun protection factor (SPF) of the sunscreen you are using. This number is published on the label of all sunscreen brands available in the market. This number is probably the most effective way to determine how long a particular brand lasts. If the sunscreen you have applied has an SPF of 20, and it typically takes you approximately 20 minutes to get sunburned without any sunscreen, you should multiply the two numbers in order to determine how long the sunscreen will last. In this case, for example, the sunscreen would probably last 20×15 minutes = 300 minutes, or 5 hours.
Although the SPF might be a good place to start in order to find out the answer to the question ‘how long does sunscreen last?’, there are a number of other considerations that must be taken into account. For example, the level of humidity can play a role in determining how long sunscreen lasts. High levels of humidity, contact with water and sweating can reduce the time for which the sunscreen remains effective. For example, if you plan on spending the day at the beach but venture into the water, you should apply sunscreen immediately after you leave the water and dry yourself. Besides the environmental conditions present at a particular time, it is also important to take into account the time of the day in question. UV rays are normally stronger during the peak hours of the day, between 10.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. if you can’t avoid the outdoors during this time, make sure you’re well covered in sunscreen.