Look down your average supermarket aisle these days, and you’ll see a staggering amount of both sunscreens and moisturizers. You’ll see other sunscreen brands that are packed with fancy-sounding ingredients like ceramide and niacinamide. You also get products that are more centered on hydration, such as the best oil free moisturizer with SPF products.
The burning question (please pardon the pun) for most people when using these kinds of moisturizers is whether they offer sufficient SPF protection on their own, i.e. do they require you to use other products in combination with them to safeguard your skin against UV rays?
The Stats Show People Think They Do
In reality, a large number of people choose not to use an additional sunscreen when they’re wearing a product like the best oil free moisturizer with SPF. With around 17% of people going outside in this way, it can result in them being unnecessarily exposed to sun damage.
The problem, though, does not lie in the efficacy of these moisturizers against the sun but rather in the way in which they’re used. Technically speaking, there’s no reason why an SPF 30 moisturizer should give you any less protection than an equivalent sunscreen.
The problem is that when people are using them, they tend not to use the same amount as compared to how much sunscreen they’d use. They tend to use a lot less and not reapply after 2 hours in the same way you should with regular sunscreen.
This means that you’re basically under-protected. While the moisturizer gives your skin lots of hydration, UV rays will counteract this if not blocked.
What Does the SPF Number Actually Mean?
Regardless of whether you’re using the best oil-free moisturizer with SPF or a straight sunscreen, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and breaks down in the following way. The number that’s given to the product in question, describes how many times more you can spend out in the sun before you burn – as compared to how long it would take without it on.
- SPF 15 = 15 times longer to burn
- SPF 30 = 30 times longer to burn…and so on…
There is something of a misconception in circulation that wearing sunblock will stop you from tanning and halt ALL UV rays in their tracks. As nice as it would be for this to be true, it’s not, as no level of SPF is going to do that. The most you’ll get is 99% from a factor 50.
However, you’re still going to get 93% protection from an SPF15 and around 97% from an SPF 30, so don’t be trying to calculate the protection offered with math – as it doesn’t work that way! Moreover, to get this protection all day, an application every 2 hours is needed.
Use More of the Best Oil Free Moisturizer With SPF
Of course, no one wants to waste their SPF moisturizer, but you need to be nice and liberal with it in the same way you would with sunscreen. If you don’t, you’re short-changing yourself and your skin, while also negating the reason you bought the product in the first place.
So, if you’re going to use a product like this instead of sunscreen, you can. Just be careful and be sure to use plenty of it on a regular basis (every two hours you’re exposed to the sun)
Fail to do that, and you might as well not be wearing anything.