December 20, 2023

SPF 15 vs 30 vs 50: Which Is Right For Your Audience?


Everyone needs sunscreen, but not all sunscreens are created equal. Consumers tend to choose SPF products like they do any other skincare product- based on aesthetics, reviews, packaging, and reputation. But rarely do they understand whether or not the SPF level of these popular products is right for them. As a beauty influencer, it’s your job to steer them in the right direction to choose SPF 15 vs 30 vs 50 according to what’s most suitable for their individual skincare needs. In this blog, we’ll help you break it down in order to make this basic yet essential information accessible to your audience.

What are SPF levels?

SPF is an acronym for Sun Protection Factor, which is a measure of how effectively a sunscreen can shield your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation is divided into two categories: UVA and UVB. The numbers on SPF product labels refer to the level of UV protection the product contains. SPF products are typically broken down into three levels: SPF 15 vs 30 vs 50. Now that we have some basic knowledge about the most common SPF variations, let’s explore which levels are best for which consumers.

SPF 15

SPF 15 provides the lowest level of protection among the three options. 

It blocks about 93% of UVB rays the skin is exposed to. While this might seem sufficient on a daily basis, remember that brief exposure to the sun adds up over time and is one of the biggest contributors to skin damage and aging.

SPF 15 is ideal for:

  • Melanated skin tones that are less prone to sunburn.
  • Individuals who spend limited time outdoors.
  • Targeted use for daily activities like commuting to work or running errands where sun exposure is minimal.

SPF 30

SPF 30 offers moderate protection, blocking approximately 97% of UVB rays. This level of protection is suitable for most people’s daily needs, as it strikes a healthy balance between notable protection and vitamin D production, which requires incremental amounts of sun exposure.

SPF 30 is recommended for:

  • Fair to medium skin tones.
  • Individuals who spend a significant amount of time outdoors during peak sun hours (10 AM to 4 PM).
  • Those concerned about premature aging and skin damage.

SPF 50+

SPF 50+ sunscreen provides the highest level of protection, blocking about 98% of UVB rays. 

It is often the choice for those with fair skin, a history of skin cancer, or who are intensely exposed to the sun due to prolonged periods being outdoors. 

SPF 50+ is suitable for:

  • Individuals with very fair or sensitive skin that burns easily
  • People with a history of skin cancer
  • People who spend prolonged periods of time outdoors on a regular basis.

No matter which level your customers opt for, make sure you emphasize how important these products are. Sunscreen is a key component to maintaining healthy, youthful skin and preventing sun damage. It even had been proven to combat the potential risks of skin cancer. So, instruct your followers to use your SPF products religiously, apply them generously, reapply regularly, and enjoy the sun responsibly.

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