Is SPF 100 better than SPF 30?
SPF values are misleading.
- Higher SPF doesn’t mean you can go longer between application. Many people assume that wearing a higher SPF means stronger protection and more time between reapplications; therefore, higher SPF users tend to reapply less frequently than those who wear a lower SPF.
- Higher SPF isn’t proven to be better. The FDA is currently proposing a ban on SPFs rated higher than 60. There is very little evidence to support that an SPF with a value of 100 is more effective than an SPF rated 50+. In fact, higher SPF products tend to have weaker UVA protection, which leads to long-term sun damage and increased risk for skin cancer.
- Higher SPF can create skin sensitivity. There is also evidence to support that higher value SPFs actually create skin sensitivity. This is especially important to consider when selecting a SPF for the face.
I always recommend a physical SPF 30 for the face and SPF 30-50 for the body. How much SPF you apply and the frequency of reapplication is really more important than the SPF value.
Want to learn more about sun care? Check out my post on Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen.
And stay tuned for part 3 of my Sun Series!