Importance of SPF discussed as summer approaches


Sophie Johnson, Opinion Editor

In the past few weeks, Indiana weather has hit temperatures as high as 80 degrees, with UV index reaching up to seven. 

According to the EPA, UV indexes around six and seven indicate high risk of harm from unprotected skin exposure, recommending an SPF of at least 15.

Spending time outside without sun protection will likely cause sunburn. Not wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can also increase signs of aging, increase the risk of skin cancer and other skin spots or changes. 

While SPF is essential for all skin types, those with fairer skin are at higher risk of sunburn and other damages to skin. 

According to Brevard Health, those with fair skin only require ten minutes of sun during the warmest hours to meet the proper daily dose of vitamin D. 

“Having fair skin and being ginger has made me a lot more aware of the sun in general,” junior Hannah Hittle said. 

Hittle’s past experiences with regular sunburn has made her more consistent with application.

“I used to not be diligent at all with putting on sunscreen,” Hittle said, “now I just remember how uncomfortable that is so I stay consistent”. 

 According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, those with fair skin are also more prone to skin cancer and melanoma. In general, fair skin lacks melanin, which is protective to the skin layers. This makes it more difficult for fair skin to develop color and imposes higher burn risk. 

“I know I don’t tan like other people do so I don’t gamble anymore with not putting it on,” Hittle said, “it can be annoying when I’m still putting sunscreen on while it’s cloudy, but then I know I won’t get sunburnt.”

While those with fair/light skin require more protection from the sun, SPF is important for everyone to wear on a daily basis in order to protect the skin barrier.