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What is SPF? Selling sun protection as a promotional product.

What is "SPF?"  What do the numbers mean?  What's the right sunscreen item for my event?

As summer approaches, company picnics, golf outings and sporting events pick up – leading to an increase in requests for promotional products containing a sunscreen item.  Help your customers select the right item for their event!

The definition of SPF:  Sunscreen is used to block ultraviolet light from damaging the skin.  There are two categories of UV light – UVA and UVB.  UVB causes sunburn, and UVA has more long-term damaging effects on the skin, like premature aging.  SPF, or sun protection factor, numbers were introduced in 1962 to measure a sunscreen's effect against UVB rays.  To determine your individual SPF need, use this equation:

Minutes to burn w/o sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time

For example, if you burn after 10 minutes of sun, an SPF of 15 will allow you to be in the sun for up to 150 minutes without burning.  But let's face it - the average sun worshipper uses half the amount of sunscreen used during lab testing, often doesn't re-apply after swimming or sweating AND everyone's skin and sun sensitivity is different.  So this is a guideline – not a guarantee.

UVB absorption:  The higher the SPF, the higher the absorption (and protection).  An SPF-15 offers 93% absorption and SPF-30 offers 96%.  The bottom line is that a sunscreen with a higher SPF does offer higher protection against UVB rays, but once you get past SPF-30, protection doesn't increase dramatically, and the higher number may give you a false sense of protection. 

Norwood offers several sunscreen options – from SPF-15 Lip Balms to SPF-30 Sport Sunblock to help your event participants avoid the dreaded sunburn.  Your event budget and planned activities will help determine what type of product you need, so we've developed a range of lab-tested, quality items.  Click here to view the full assortment of sun-protection products.  Norwood can also put together a custom event kit – so you can craft just the right gift for your event's theme and activities. 

 A full day event like a beach volleyball tournament, may require a larger volume giveaway of sunscreen, such as our 1.5oz SPF-30 Sport Sunblock with Carabiner, while a company retreat with a 2-hour outdoor teambuilding activity, may only require an SPF-15 Sunblock Lotion Pocket Pack (includes 3 single-use packets).

And, of course, as people have become more and more conscious of the effects of the sun's harmful rays, hats are becoming super popular – and a fashion statement on their own.  Click here to see our collection of headwear – including the Front Runner (one of our best sellers – available in a wide range of colors), a Visor (with attractive color accents – perfect for golf) and even our Destroyed Military Cap (very hot in retail right now).

Contact your Norwood sales representative for more information and pricing on all our sun protection items.

~Margit Fawbush

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