Sun Protection Factor.
I’ll admit, this guy here is a little pasty… actually, who am I kidding, my legs will blind you on that first day I pull out a pair of shorts for the summer.
When I want to look tanned, I need to burn (baby, burn). Then I stay in hibernation until my ketchup coloured skin softens to a pleasant red birch bark colour.
Now what about that number following the SPF (Sun Protection Factor)?
SPF 30 for instance, means you get 30 times longer in the sun until the point you start to burn/redden.
If you usually start to burn 10 minutes into being out in the sun, applying SPF 30 will get you 300 minutes of sunshine until you start to cook (10 min x 30). That would be 5 hours of sunshine.
I believe the common misunderstanding about SPF is that it’s about the time you’re in the sun, and not the strength of the sunscreen you apply. Also, something to take into consideration – light that reflects off of buildings, pavement, and sand can also cause you to burn, not just direct sunlight.
So stay pasty this summer… I mean safe, by applying an appropriate amount of sunscreen for the time allotted you plan to be in the sun.