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Protecting your skin from the suns UV radiation will not only help to prevent uncomfortable sun burn and wrinkles, it could also save you from developing skin cancer in the future. Before you choose a sunscreen you need to first understand what the rating means. Most sunscreens nowadays contain broad spectrum UV filters that protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and so a generic SPF rating is used. This is a measure of the fraction of UV rays reaching the skin. So for a SPF15 sunscreen, only 1/15th of the sun rays will reach the skin. You now need to roughly know how long it takes your skin to burn without any sunscreen to work out the protection time. If your skin burns in twenty minutes, then an SPF15 will give you 15 x 20 minutes in the sun = 300 minutes before burning. Obviously the higher the SPF, the longer you are protected in the sun. However, high SPF sunscreens do not last or remain effective on the skin any longer than lower SPF sunscreens and so must be continually reapplied as directed. The same is true with waterproof sunscreens. They will stay on the skin if you go in the water, but if you dry yourself with a towel or perspire, then you will need to reapply.