What SPF do I need?

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates the level of protection provided against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It refers to the time taken before sunburn occurs; an SPF 50 sun cream, for example, means your skin is protected for 50 times longer than it would be without cream.

At Clarins, we believe it’s always best to select the highest factor sun cream possible to ensure maximum, long-lasting protection. However, those with darker skin are less likely to burn, so the minimum recommended SPF can vary slightly depending on your skin tone and hair colour.

So if you’re wondering what SPF to use, here are the minimum recommended requirements according to the British Association of Dermatologists*.

Skin types 1 and 2: Fair-skinned with blonde or red hair

These skin types are the most sensitive to the sun, meaning they require a higher SPF to reduce the risk of sunburn. So which factor sun cream should you use? A sunblock with SPF 50 will give fair skin the optimal protection it needs. Make sure you apply generously and repeatedly throughout the day and try to avoid the sun during peak hours (between 10 am and 4 pm).

Skin types 3 and 4: Olive-skinned with darker hair

While still sensitive, skin types 3 and 4 are more resilient to the sun, meaning it is possible for them to tan over time, with a slightly reduced risk of sunburn. So what SPF should you use? A sunblock with SPF 30 is the minimum recommended factor to keep you protected. Apply generously both before and during sun exposure. And remember, SPF 50 still offers the best protection.

Skin types 5 and 6: Dark-skinned with dark hair

Though skin types 5 and 6 are the least likely to burn, they still need protection from UV radiation. SPF 30 is the minimum recommended factor for darker skin, though if you’re out during peak hours or for long periods of time, SPF 50 is still the best option for maximum protection. Remember to apply generously and repeatedly throughout the day.

Is SPF 15 enough?

If you’re darker-skinned, are only heading out for a short amount of time, and are avoiding the sun’s peak hours, a sun cream with SPF 15 can help to reduce your risk of sunburn. Ideally, however, you should be using at least SPF 30 to adequately protect your skin.

The higher the SPF, the higher the protection

At Clarins, we believe in looking after your skin as best as you can, no matter what you’re doing or where you are. That’s why for maximum protection, we suggest you always use the highest SPF factor you can. While no sunblock can keep you completely safe from sunburn, a factor 50 sun cream. is the best choice for keeping you as protected as possible — no matter what your skin type.

Finally, which type of sunscreen is best will depend on what texture you prefer and what activity you’re doing. Not sure which product is right for you? Read our guide on what sunscreen to use depending on your lifestyle.

High-protection sun care from Clarins

At Clarins, we’ve developed a range of high-factor sun care which offers maximum, long-lasting protection against damage from free radicals and the sun’s harmful UV rays. Our unique, plant-based formulas use extracts of Senna, Aloe Vera, and Baobab to protect and hydrate your skin — encouraging firmness and elasticity while shielding you from damage.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we use responsible, coral-friendly formulas that are water-resistant to limit their diffusion into the sea. With packaging made from recycled plastic and sourced from sustainably-managed forests, we’re just as committed to protecting the environment as we are to protecting you.

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