Why does sunblock come in different SPF levels?

They’re all at different prices usually. Why sell SPF15 when you already sell SPF30 and SPF45 sunblocks? Do the lower grade SPF sunblocks offer any advantages?

EDIT: The SAME prices, not different. Sorry!

I’m pretty sure it’s so people can tan.

I would think it’s because SOME people want a lower SPF (to allows some tanning) as much as others want a higher SPF (to avoid a burn).

I always get 15 (I don’t want higher AT ALL), but my fiance DEFINITELY needs 30 (and wouldn’t THINK of less).

I never use less than 45 myself, although my morena-colored wife uses none or 15. I remember a friend of mine laughed at me in the Army when I offered him sublock – he’s black.

Despite the constant use of SPF45, I came back from Mexico two weeks ago to lots of “I like your tan” comments. I’m not red-headed or freckly – maybe I just don’t get enough sun (working in a factory and all).

SPF gives you an ESTIMATION of allowable time in the sun.

For example let’s say I can spend 1 hours in the sun then after 1 hour I get burned. With an SPF of 3 I can stay out 3 hours without getting burned. SPF 15 means if I can stay out 1 hour without getting burned I can stay 15 hours without getting burned.

Now I bet you are thinking “wait a minute…” There are not 45 hours in a day…

The SPF is an estimation of ANY TIME. For example let’s say I burn VERY easily. I can only stay out 10 minutes without getting burned. And SPF of 45 give me 450 minutes or 7.5 hours.

As you build your tan you can lower your SPF to get a tan. If you have an SPF of 45 and keep it you probably won’t get a lot of tan if any,

Sunscreen ingredients are expensive, and SPF correlates pretty closely with the amount of such ingredients used. If a profitable SPF-45 sunscreen is sold for the same price as an SPF-15 sunscreen, the profit margin on that SPF-15 sunscreen must be huge. Meanwhile, plenty of people want some tanning rays to get through; others simply have no need for higher SPFs; and high SPFs usually involve some aesthetic trade-offs. With no benefit to either consumers or vendors in eliminating low-SPF sunscreens, why would it happen?