Health Tip: Which SPF Do I Need?

(HealthDay News) -- Sunscreen helps protect your skin from sun damage. And assessing the appropriate sun protection factor (SPF) in your sunscreen can ensure you've got the appropriate coverage.

The American Council on Exercise offers these guidelines for choosing the right SPF:

  • Estimate how many minutes your skin can be exposed to the sun before the skin starts to burn.

  • Figure out the total number of minutes that you'll be in the sun, then divide by the number of minutes it takes your skin to burn.

  • The resulting number is the SPF you should look for in a sunscreen.

  • Use this formula as a guide. If your skin typically burns within 10 minutes and you plan to be outside for 180 minutes, you would divide 180 by 10 and need an SPF of 18 or higher.