How Long Does SPF 50+++ Last?

Sun protection is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and preventing damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Among the various sun protection factors (SPF) available, SPF 50+++ is known for its high level of protection. But how long does SPF 50+++ last? This blog will explore the duration and effectiveness of SPF 50+++, its benefits, and how to use it properly for maximum protection.

What Is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburn and can contribute to skin cancer. The number indicates how much longer it will take for your skin to burn with the sunscreen on compared to without it. For example, SPF 50 means it will take 50 times longer for your skin to burn.

The "+++" in SPF 50+++ refers to the additional protection against UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and contribute to aging and long-term skin damage. The more plus signs, the higher the UVA protection.

How Long Does SPF 50+++ Last?

SPF 50+++ typically provides protection for up to two hours under ideal conditions. However, this duration can be shortened by factors such as sweating, swimming, and towel drying. To maintain effective protection, it is essential to reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating, or towel drying.

How Do UV Rays Damage Skin?

UV rays are classified into UVA and UVB rays:

  • UVA Rays: Penetrate deep into the skin, causing premature aging and contributing to skin cancer.
  • UVB Rays: Affect the surface of the skin, leading to sunburn and playing a significant role in developing skin cancer.

Both UVA and UVB rays can cause DNA damage in skin cells, leading to mutations and increasing the risk of skin cancer. They also contribute to photoaging, characterized by wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and pigmentation.

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

Sunscreen protects the skin by either absorbing or reflecting UV radiation. There are two main types of sunscreens:

  • Chemical Sunscreens: Contain organic compounds that absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, which is then released from the skin.
  • Physical Sunscreens: Contain mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that reflect UV radiation away from the skin.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays, ensuring comprehensive sun protection.

Why Is Sun Protection Important?

Protecting your skin from UV radiation has numerous benefits:

  • Reduces Risk of Skin Cancer: Regular use of sunscreen decreases the risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Prevents Premature Aging: Sunscreen helps to prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots caused by UV exposure.
  • Avoids Sunburn: Sunscreen protects the skin from painful sunburns and the associated discomfort.

Daily sun protection is essential, even on cloudy days or when indoors, as UV rays can penetrate through clouds and windows.

How Does Sunscreen Work? How Does It Protect Your Skin From UV Radiation?

Sunscreen contains active ingredients that either absorb or reflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, while physical sunscreens reflect UV rays away from the skin. Using a sufficient amount of sunscreen ensures that the active ingredients form a protective barrier on the skin, effectively preventing UV radiation from causing damage.

What Happens When You Don’t Apply Sunscreen Enough?

Inadequate sunscreen application can lead to:

  • Insufficient UV Protection: Leaving the skin vulnerable to sunburn and long-term damage.
  • Increased Risk of Skin Cancer: Higher exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Accelerated Aging: Lack of protection accelerates the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation.

To ensure effective protection, it’s crucial to apply sunscreen thoroughly and regularly.

How Long Does SPF 50 Last?

Under ideal conditions, SPF 50 provides protection for up to two hours. However, factors such as sweating, swimming, and water exposure can reduce its effectiveness. Reapplication every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating is recommended to maintain continuous protection.

Why Is SPF 50 The Best?

SPF 50 is often recommended because it offers a high level of protection against UVB rays, blocking about 98% of them. It is suitable for various skin types and activities, providing comprehensive sun protection. Dermatologists frequently recommend SPF 50 for those seeking robust protection against sunburn and long-term skin damage.

Can You Still Get A Tan With Sunscreen On?

Yes, it is possible to get a tan while wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen does not block all UV rays but significantly reduces the amount that reaches the skin. This reduction helps to prevent sunburn and skin damage while allowing some tanning. Using sunscreen helps prevent the harmful effects of UV radiation even if a tan is desired.

How Often To Reapply Sunscreen?

Sunscreen should be reapplied:

  • Every two hours during regular activities.
  • Immediately after swimming, sweating, or towel drying.
  • More frequently if exposed to intense sunlight for extended periods.

Regular reapplication ensures that the protective barrier remains effective throughout the day.

What SPF Strength Should I Use?

Choosing the appropriate SPF strength depends on factors such as skin type, activity level, and environmental conditions:

  • Daily Use: SPF 30 or higher is recommended for everyday use.
  • Outdoor Activities: SPF 50 or higher for extended outdoor activities and intense sun exposure.
  • Sensitive Skin: Higher SPF levels provide additional protection for sensitive skin types.

Using a higher SPF ensures optimal protection, especially for prolonged exposure to sunlight.

How Much Sunscreen Do I Need?

Proper sunscreen application involves using enough product to cover all exposed skin:

  • Face and Neck: About a teaspoon.
  • Full Body: Approximately a shot glass full (about 1 ounce).

Applying sufficient sunscreen ensures the labeled SPF protection is achieved, providing an effective defense against UV radiation.

Best SPF 50 Pa+++ Sunscreen

RAWLS SPF 50 Sunscreen

This Hydrating Protective Sunscreen combines high sun protection with a delightful scent. This lightweight, non-greasy formula is ideal for daily use, protecting and nourishing the skin while allowing you to enjoy the outdoors. Key features include:

  • High SPF protection.
  • Lightweight and non-greasy.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Delightful scent.


Q. Is SPF 50+++ suitable for all skin types?

A. Yes, SPF 50+++ is suitable for all skin types, providing high-level protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Q. Can SPF 50+++ prevent tanning?

A. SPF 50+++ significantly reduces UV exposure, helping to prevent sunburn and skin damage, but some tanning may still occur.

Q. How often should I reapply SPF 50+++ sunscreen?

A. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating, or towel drying to maintain effective protection.

Q. Can I use SPF 50+++ sunscreen on my face and body?

A. Yes, SPF 50+++ can be used on both the face and body for comprehensive sun protection.

Q. What should I do if I experience a reaction to SPF 50+++ sunscreen?

A. If you experience irritation or an allergic reaction, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist for alternative sun protection options.


SPF 50+++ sunscreen provides robust protection against harmful UV radiation, helping to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. Regular and proper application, along with reapplication every two hours, ensures continuous protection. Incorporate SPF 50+++ sunscreen into your daily skincare routine to maintain healthy, protected skin and enjoy the outdoors with confidence.