Are sunscreens with higher SPF always better?

Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays is important but do you know what SPF you should get? Higher isn't always better, read why!

Author Mads Timmermann

Mads has 14+ years of experience as a skin expert and has written/read this article.

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Question: “Are sunscreens with higher SPF always better?”

Hi Mads

How high is the sun protection factor in your day cream?

I’m looking for a product with maximum protection.


Answer to: “Are sunscreens with higher SPF always better?”

Hi Marie

It is so great to hear that you think sunscreen is important – I really do too. And sunscreen and sun protection is extremely important. That’s why I also have sun protection in my daycreams. Danish Skin Care’s day cream has a sun protection factor of 15, and of course our product includes both UVA and UVB!

– You can get my day cream with sun protection here.

You are of course free to choose what you want. And I will not dissuade you from choosing a day cream with a higher SPF. I just think you need to be aware of the consequences. I think you misunderstand the importance of the sun protection factor, which many do.

The sun protection factor says NOTHING about protection against skin cancer or the like!

Let me also point out that sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is more annoying and harmful to the skin.

The Danish Cancer Society recommends SPF 15, the same sun protection factor as Danish Skin Cares day cream.

The Asthma and Allergy association in Denmark also advice against sunscreens with a higher sun protection factor than 30 – precisely because of the higher risk of developing allergies.

As mentioned, the sun protection factor says nothing about the protection against skin cancer, pigmentation, wrinkles and the like.

SPF is a time indicator – that tells how long a light skin will be protected. Sunscreen with sun protection factor 15 will protect light skin for 5-6 hours. And it’s not from 12-17. It is a 5-6 hours stay in the sun. In addition, the sun protection factor also indicates that there is UVB protection in the sunscreen.

UVB rays are the sun rays on a sunny day, those are also the rays that can give red skin and also color you skin brown.

But what is actually important in terms of sun protection is protection with UVA filters – which has nothing to do about the sun protection factor. UVA rays are the rays that are affecting us 365 days a year, even on a gray day – and the UVA rays are the rays that cause pigment damage, sun damage, wrinkles and can cause skin cancer

– Read more about correct sun protection by clicking here. And get a free guide on what sunscreen you should use.

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