What SPF Should I Use

8 min read
Show more

SPF stands for sun protection factor. It works by reducing the amount of UV light that can make it through to your skin. Knowing which SPF you should use is dependent on a number of factors. You should consider which would work best with your skin-type, how much protection you need and what format you want your SPF to be. 


Whilst all Eucerin products are made with scientifically-backed formulations and dermatologically approved for skin compatibility, they each have different benefits tailored to different skin types and concerns.

Best sunscreen for all skin types

Eucerin Sun Face Hydro Protect SPF50+ is suitable for all skin types making it perfect for people with combination skin who want to protect both their dry and oily areas. It offers a non-greasy texture and fast absorption to encourage reapplication throughout the day.

Best sunscreen for hyperpigmentation

For anyone who experiences hyperpigmentation, the Pigment Control SPF50+ protects against rays and free radicals, whilst also reducing dark spots and helping to limit their reappearance.

Eucerin also offers a tinted version which contains colour pigments to give the appearance of more even skin tone.

If you’re someone who suffers from sun allergies, then face and body sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection as well as HEVIS light defence. It’s formulated with Alpha-Glycosylrutin which is known to prevent sun-induced allergies.

Best sunscreen for sensitive skin

The Sensitive Protect formula supports the skin’s own DNA repair mechanism making it great for anyone with sensitive skin. It is gentle enough to be used on dry and atopic skin and is unscented with a light creamy texture to avoid discomfort. This is also available in a fluid form for those with oily skin that is also sensitive.

Best sunscreen for mature skin

Formulated with hyaluronic acid, the Sun Fluid Photoageing Control visibly reduces signs of ageing whilst preventing photoageing through its broad-spectrum protective properties. The carefully chosen ingredients help to fight free radicals and support the skin’s DNA repair mechanism.

Best sunscreen for oily skin

Eucerin’s Oil Control Sun Gel Creme offers broad-spectrum protection for all skin types as well as HEVIS light defence. The ultra-light non-comedogenic formula absorbs quickly into skin without leaving residue, for a dry touch finish. Perfect for people with oily skin that don’t want to feel greasy from their suncream, and available for both the face and body.

Image of blue skies with the sun shining

What SPF number should I use?

There is a lot of misinformation on what difference SPF numbers mean and which you should use. The number relates to the proportion of UV rays that are blocked from the sunscreen. For example, SPF 30 means that a sunscreen reduces the amount of UV rays that make it to your skin by 1/30, which equates to around 97% reduction.

Is SPF 30 or 50 better for face?

There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the different SPF numbers but the most important thing to remember when protecting your skin is the amount you use and how often you reapply. 

Failure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day will leave you vulnerable to the sun and make the SPF you have already applied ineffective. That being said, SPF 50 will provide more protection, so is the better option if you are trying to decide between the two.

Whilst SPF 15 blocks around 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 blocks around 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98%.

Is SPF 100 too much?

SPF 100 protects against 99% of UV rays and is great if you’re looking for something that offers more protection than your factor 50. Eucerin Actinic Control is a certified medical device with SPF 100 UVB and UVA protection, for the prevention of actinic keratosis and non-melanoma skin cancer, or as adjunctive treatment of actinic keratosis.

Is SPF 15 too little?

Whilst using any sunscreen is better than nothing, it is not recommended to use a sunscreen as low as SPF15. Even small amounts of tanning is unhealthy for skin and factor 15 will make this much more likely to happen. As a rule of thumb, the higher the SPF the better when it comes to protecting the skin from sun damage and ageing.

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?

UVB rays are associated with skin burning, whilst UVA rays are what can cause ageing. Sun rays consist of both UVA and UVB rays so it’s important to protect our skin against both. 

Managing sunburn

Forgetting to reapply sunscreen frequently enough can lead to burning, in which case the Sensitive Relief After Sun can repair and soothe sun induced damage across the face and body.

What SPF format should I use?

There are lots of different names given to sun creams. In some cases, it’s important to know the distinction, whilst in others the meanings might be similar.

Sun cream, sunscreen, sun lotion or sunblock?

  • Sun cream vs sunscreen vs sun lotion: these terms can be used interchangeably and describe any product that protects the skin from the sun. 
  • Sunscreen vs sun block: whilst sunscreens are chemical, sun block’s refer to physical sunscreens (also known as mineral sunscreen), which use physical protection to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. They will contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to act as a barrier which sits on the skin’s surface and prevents rays from penetrating.

Is mineral or chemical sunscreen best?

This depends on what you want from a sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens can be great for those with sensitive skin as the formula won’t penetrate into the skin and risk irritation. However, many people opt for chemical sunscreen for their lighter consistency and effortless application compared to mineral sun blocks, which often leave a white cast on the skin.

Do I still need a high SPF if I have dark skin?

It’s important that everyone wears SPF. Even if you find you don’t burn as much, applying sun creams will protect you from forms of skin cancer and premature ageing. It is true that darker skin pigment can provide some natural sun protection, however this can never be more than SPF 13 which is less than recommended, even in winter.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

Many people would assume that higher SPF numbers last longer, but this is untrue. Over time, sunlight causes the chemicals in sunscreen to become inactive, irrespective of the SPF number or whether it is mineral or chemical sunscreen. 

This is why it is important to reapply sun lotion every two hours, regardless of the SPF rating. Learn more about reapply sunscreen and how much to use.

 

When do I need to use sunscreen?

Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen throughout the year, even throughout winter. This is because less intense sunlight can still lead to skin damage and ageing. 


Whilst it might not be necessary to apply over your whole body, be sure to include a facial SPF in your skincare routine since facial skin is more delicate. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck and décolletage to prevent neck and chest wrinkles

Related Articles

Our brand values

Pioneers in skincare

We deliver a holistic dermo-cosmetic approach to protect your skin, keep it healthy and radiant.

Recommended by dermatologists

We work together with leading dermatologist and pharmacist partners around the world to create innovative and effective skincare products they can trust and recommend.

Committed to innovation

For over 100 years, we have dedicated ourselves to researching and innovating in the field of skin science. We believe in creating active ingredients and soothing formulas with high tolerability that work to help you live your life better each day.

Find your nearest Eucerin pharmacy