Dan Gosling “The ChopSaver Guy” explains sunscreen basics. (Originally posted on Facebook Live – June 10,2021)

Today, we’re going to talk about sunscreen basics. So you see there on the ChopSaver package, there’s three letters, two numbers, and two words, SPF 15 and broad spectrum. One might assume that everyone knows what those mean, but I’m not sure that’s a safe assumption, especially since guess what these are coming off, right? Masks are going away. Our faces and our lips are going to be you know, exposed to the sun. So this is just a real quick chat on SPF basics. First of all, what does S P F even stand for? Well, it stands for sun protection factor, which leads us next to the numbers. In this case, we use a 15, sometimes you see 20 or 30 or 45, you won’t see things marketed or you shouldn’t anyway much in the future in this country, more than a 50. What they found was that if the number was higher and higher people thought that, oh, that meant they didn’t have to keep reapplying.

They meant they were protected. You know, for, for, for days, the number was fooling people into thinking they were more protected from the sun than they are. What that number actually means is the number of minutes, actual time. It’s a time number. It’s not a protection like barrier. How, how strong the barrier is. It’s actually the amount of time that that product is been deemed will keep you protected from the sun’s rays. So an SPF 15, you probably need to reapply more often than an SPF 30, and probably need to reapply a 30 more often than you need to reapply a 45. It’s literally 15 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever that number is.

And it’s based on how they, the way they test these things, a little barbaric, actually, they literally take human, human people, human with their real skin expose them to rays and wait to see how long it takes them to burn. And they do it with varying levels of skin tone fair-skinned people darker skin people so they can kind of get an average. And once that first person, that first person in the test starts to burn after 15 minutes, after 20 minutes, with whatever formulation they’re testing, that’s how you get that number. That’s kind of the basics of it. So keep that in mind when you buy your sunscreen, they actually literally tested it on humans to get a number that they thought was accurate to show the world, okay, this will protect you for this amount of time.

This will protect you for this amount of time. And of course, the other thing that I was pointing out here is two words, broad spectrum. Broad spectrum refers to two things, UVA and UVB, two different types of rays that come from the sun. And generally speaking, you want to find a product that is protecting you from both UVA and UVB. I’m not going to get into all the technicalities. I, you know, this is what I’m trying to do here is someone who’s not a doctor, not a dermatologist, and not a chemist, but as somebody who has put a product on the market, I’ve learned a ton of this stuff because I do talk to chemists and dermatologist pretty regularly, and have, you know, picked their brain about this kind of stuff. And so what I’m trying to do is like, take what I’ve learned from them and put it in layman’s terms if you want.

So again, SPF to review stands for sun protection factor. The numbers, and I’ll answer your question Alexei Tretick, what’s the real difference in protection, mean SPF 15 and 50. Again, the numbers are referring to time. It’s not a number of, mow much, how strong a protection is, is how long the protection lasts. So like I said, a 15 will protect you theoretically for 15 minutes, u, will protect you for theoretically 30 minutes. That’s what those numbers mean. And then many people don’t realize that. So where we get into trouble again is where if the numbers are super high and again, I think they had eliminated some of those super high numbers because they didn’t want people to just think, oh, I’m protected all day when you’re not, or I’ve got a hundred, I’ve got a SPF 85. I’m good to all day, or I don’t have to worry about it. No, you still have to like, you know, if you’re starting to feel some burning or if you’re getting dehydrated or if you’ve been swimming or have you been sweating, all those numbers kind of go out the window plus there’s factors like how cloudy is it? How, how sunny is it? Where are you on the earth? You know, how direct are those rays? Are you close to the equator? It’s going to be different for someone who lives in Florida than someone who lives in Michigan. So again, these numbers are kind of general generalities and yeah. Lexi you’re right. It’s really not sunblock. That’s a misleading term. You’re absolutely right. It’s sun protection. And again, the only real sun protection is clothing, a hat and stay in the shade. When you’re going to be in the sun, use sunscreen, but understand what those terms actually mean. And then we can, you know, we could talk about the whole thing about the different kinds of sunblock. And that’s probably a chat for another time where chemical sun blockers versus physical sun blockers. They both have their place, but I’m of the opinion that chemical sunblock and many are that chemical sunblock things like other avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and some others, they, you know, in this day and age, if it sounds chemical-ly, we’re scared of it.

But, you know, we need chemicals. Chemicals are not all bad, just like not all natural things are all good. I mean, you’re not going to rub poison ivy on your skin just because it’s natural. There are some things that are natural things that are really bad for you. And there’s a lot of chemicals that are really good for you. So let’s not get all hung up on natural versus chemical when it comes to your skin health. I believe that the most of the chemical, sun blockers are, have been well-tested. It’s much, far superior than getting actual skin cancer than any of these. You know, sometimes you read things in the media about the ingredients might, carcinogenic or cause cancer. And the the small particulates that we’re talking about, generally speaking, are not going to harm you.

What’s really going to harm you are lots of exposure to sun rays over time. Anyway, that’s the end of that sermon. There’s no physical sunblocks in my product because it just doesn’t feel very good. We’re talking about zinc oxide or titanium oxide, the way they cover the lips, the way they look on the lips. Not a great look, not a great feel. That’s not what ChopSaver is all about. And there’s spray on, there’s lotions, there’s sticks. They all have their place depending on what you’re using them for. So I’m going to wrap this one up for now, and then it’s just enjoy a little more time out here on the porch. I’ll give you a little bit more of the Indiana sun, Indiana summer. Speaking of sun, it’s been sunny then cloudy, then sunny, then rainy, then sunny. One of those kinds of weeks. So wherever you are this week, hope you’re having a good one. Hope this was even mildly informative again, as to what S P F a number and broad spectrum actually mean.

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