OMG. The beauty industry is getting OOC with the sun-protection acronyms. Here's what they all mean:
SPF (Sun Protection Factor): This one's been around forever, but it still confuses people, and it's not hard to understand why. What it actually means is that, with an SPF 15, for example, if you normally start to burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen, you can stay out 150 minutes (in other words, 15 times longer) and not burn. SPF refers only to protection from UVB rays, not UVA ones.
EPF (Environmental Protection Factor). This rates the power of antioxidants to ward off UV rays and free radicals (so far, idebenone has the highest EPF of the antioxidants tested).
PA (Protection Factor of UVA). In Europe, and likely coming to the States in the future, PA is a measurement of a product's protection from UVA rays. A PA+++ is better than a PA+.
KPF (Keratin Protection Factor): Now hair-care brand Rene Furterer claims that its new Waterproof Nutritive Oil contains a KPF of 90, meaning it protects 90 percent of the keratin in your hair from getting damaged in the sun.
And totally unrelated, but too funny to ignore, is OPI. In 1981, the now-CEO purchased the dental supply company Odontorium Products Inc., then realized that the acrylic porcelain used to make dentures would be better used to make acrylic nails-and what we now know as OPI was born.
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