Demystifying SPF 30 and SPF 50: Understanding the Key Distinctions

Sun protection is one of the most important aspects of a skincare routine, and with so many options available it can be hard to know which one is best for you. SPF 30 vs. SPF 50—which should you choose? The answer comes down to your skin type and how much time you plan to spend outside or in direct sunlight.

Summer is officially here! And that means it’s time to stock up on your favorite BGS sunscreen. But with so many options available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you.

Does SPF 50 Protect Better than SPF 30?

When it comes to shopping for sunscreen, understanding SPF ratings can be tricky. To clear things up, let’s discuss what SPF means.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s a way to measure how much protection a sunscreen provides against harmful UV rays.

How It Works

Ultraviolet radiation — or UV rays — are invisible rays emitted by the sun. They provide us with a healthy dose of vitamin D, but when exposed to them for too long, there are two types that can do more harm than good.

UVA rays: 95% of ultraviolet radiation comes from UVA rays. They have a longer wavelength that can penetrate deep into the skin to cause premature aging and skin damage.

UVB rays: The majority of UVB rays are blocked by the Earth’s ozone layer, making them shorter and less likely to penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays. Still, UVB rays can cause quite a bit of damage by burning the top layer of your skin, resulting in sunburns and even skin cancers.

Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays is harmful to humans, which is why it’s important to protect your skin from damage by wearing a quality sunscreen with an adequate amount of SPF.

Credit: Tara Winstead/Pexels

SPF 30 vs SPF 50: What’s the Difference?

SPF 30 provides the minimum level of sun protection for people with darker skin tones. With SPF 30, only 3% of UV rays can penetrate your skin. This makes it more suitable for daily use  — to wear indoors or if you’re only getting a minimal amount of sun exposure.

On the other hand, when using an SPF 50 sunscreen, only 2% of UV rays can penetrate your skin. This is better suited for people who are prone to sunburns, or plan to stay in the direct sunlight for long periods of time.

In other words, if you use an SPF 30 sunscreen, you can stay in the sun for 30 times longer before getting sunburned. By that same logic, using a sunscreen with SPF 50 can protect your skin from sunburn 50 times longer than without it.

As a general rule of thumb, you should always reapply your sunscreen every two hours. And even sooner — every 80 minutes  — if you get sweaty or go for a swim.

Does the Higher SPF Last Longer?

When it comes to SPF ratings, many people think that a higher number equals more protection from harmful UV rays. Instead, an SPF number can tell you how long you can stay in the sun before getting sunburned. 

So if you’re more prone to sunburns, a higher SPF — like the BGS Make It Hybrid SPF 50 Sunscreen — can provide the defense you need. Otherwise, a sunscreen with SPF 30 is enough to keep you protected.

The Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays. It contains everything you need and more for maximum protection against the sun. Its formula is jam packed with a superblend of nourishing ingredients, including avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil. Each ingredient is designed to not only protect your skin from sun damage, but hydrate, soothe, and reduce signs of aging as well.

Plus, you can forget about it leaving behind any annoying, white cast. The BGS SPF 30 is formulated to dry completely clear, so you can use it as a moisturizer, too!

What BGS Customers Have To Say

According to BGS customers, the proof is in the pudding. For a smooth makeup base, @_YungNinah uses her BGS sunscreen as a primer:

Credit: @_YungNinah/Twitter

To step up your skincare routine, @ThatsJust_GLO recommends adding BGS to your product collection:

Credit: @ThatsJust_GLO/Twitter

If you want to give your skin a soft, natural glow @zswagged says BGS is her go-to:

Credit: @zswagged/Twitter

To add a dash of Black girl magic to your daily routine, @AsiaPaige_ swears by her BGS sunscreen:

Credit: @AsiaPaige_/Twitter

Struggling with dark spots? @makedaalia uses to BGS to treat her hyperpigmentation:

Credit: @makedaalia_/Twitter

Or for the all-around, best sunscreen ever, take it from @politicallychy:

Credit: @politicallychy/Twitter