What is SPF? SPF stands for sun protection factor, and this is the measure of how effective the sunscreen is at protecting the user from the sun’s ultra violet light. This can be easily explained as the limit of protection you would get for example a sun screen named SPF 30 would protect you up to 30 times the level of ultra violet light that would normally burn your skin. So, the SPF factor is the protection you are given times the normal amount needed for the human skin to burn from the sun.
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The main reason for sunscreen is to prevent us from reaching or tacking the direct damage associated with these different forms of UV rays and there destructive nature. Our first level of protection from ultra violet rays was the ozone layer but that is being destroyed, so we largely rely on our second form of protecting the melanin in our skin.
Melanin works that when our skin comes into contact with these rays it absorbs them and this along with chemical processes changes our skin to a brownish looking colour (that is how someone gets a tan).
But, now we have a third defence in the form of sunscreen, and it should be used because sunscreens don’t absorb them like melanin but it repels them from us keeping us totally safe from the different forms of ultra violet light and all of its problems.
Damages the sun can cause (UV rays):
3. Malignant-melanoma (caused by indirect damage between the DNA and the UV light).
4. UV light can cause skin acceleration and also destroy a vital vitamin that the skin requires (vitamin A).
5. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause severe eye problems such as: welder’s flash (when your eye becomes sunburned, symptoms are gritty sand in the eyes and tears), cataracts, pinguecula (a type of conjunctiva degeneration) and others. All of these problems can be caused by ultra violet light and symptoms may only show several hours after the problems or problem have been contracted.
As you can see the damages that ultra violet light can cause, therefore it is important to protect yourself from the UV ray by using a high SPF sunscreen. UV rays does not always give sunburn off as a factor, there have been instances where the rays have actually penetrated the human skin and damaged the DNA without even slight altering the colour of the skin.
The reason for such varying levels of SPF factors is because in the first instance the UV light was not deemed to be dangerous to human life but with greater levels of technologies we can see how dangerous it can really be. Also due to the growing of the hole in the ozone layer more UV ray is coming into our atmosphere thereby heightening the risk of all the above name problems.