SPF 30, 50, 80…What does it all mean?

Ahhhh, the summer heat is upon us and Lake Sinclair is looking like the perfect getaway!  Nothing beats when the sun hits your skin and the breeze tosses your hair.  But to keep comfortable in this kind of heat, we all need to take some precaution with helpful skin care designed for #LakeLife.

Taking care of your skin does not have to come with an expensive price tag.  We have great drugstore brands that you can scoop up anywhere as long as you know the key ingredients you are looking for. 

Understanding SPF

Waterproof, sweatproof, UVB, UVA, SPF 30, 50, or 100, what does it all mean?  I asked several people to explain this to me and I was alarmed how many people don’t exactly understand what it all means! 

SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and is designed specifically to protect against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVB is what causes sunburn.  Suppose that your skin would normally start to burn after 10 minutes without any protection — with SPF 30, you would get 30 TIMES the protection…that’s 300 minutes (10min x 30 SPF)! 

BUT the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that reapplying sunscreen does NOT reset the clock, it just provides continuity of the existing protection.  So using the example above, if you go for a swim about an hour (60 minutes) after applying your SPF 30 sunscreen, then you need to re-apply and will still only get the remaining 240 minutes of protection. 

So what is UVA? These ultraviolet rays don’t generally cause visible sunburn, but can cause damage to tissue that causes wrinkles which means they penetrate deeper into the skin.  

The Takeaway

As someone who is particular about my skin care and of course style.  I love to pile on my protection with a moisturizing sunscreen, make up with SPF in it, and a cute hat or sunglasses just to keep my face out of direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time. 

Sun Essentials
Chicks #LakeLife Essentials

I hope that you found this information helpful next time you stop by CVS or Walgreens before you head to the lake. 

Lather up!

Your Chick,


**This piece was published in Milledgeville Scene Magazine May/June 2019**