Your sunscreen needs to have broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, not just SPF.
Sunscreen is your first line of defence against ageing in the sun. The SPF rating only measures protection from UVB radiation (the burning rays), so make sure you choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA as well.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measure of how well your sunscreen will protect you against sunburn and UVB rays that burn.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This is a measure of how well your sunscreen will protect you against sunburn and UVB rays that burn. The higher the SPF, the longer it takes for you to burn in the sun.
Because there are different types of sunlight, sunscreens have been divided into two categories:
- UVA protection, which protects against ageing and skin cancer (SPF 15+), and
- UVB protection, which protects against burning and some types of skin cancer (SPF 8-14).
Broad spectrum is the term used to describe a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Always look for a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Broad spectrum means that the sunscreen absorbs both types of harmful radiation. UVB rays are present year-round. UVA rays are strongest between 10 am and 2 pm. Both types of ultraviolet (UV) light can cause skin damage. UVA rays are the main cause of premature ageing (wrinkles, fine lines) as well as skin cancer.
So preventing these rays from penetrating your skin is an anti-wrinkle treatment.
UVA rays penetrate deep into your skin so they’re very damaging to skin cells.
You need a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 to protect against the UVA rays.
UVB rays penetrate less deeply into your skin, but are still damaging and can cause burns and sunburn as well as contribute to development of melanoma (skin cancer).
UVB rays penetrate into the dermis (the middle layer of your skin), where they damage collagen and elastin fibres, which helps your skin maintain its firmness. Over time, this causes premature ageing signs such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and uneven pigmentation.
Any sunscreen can be harmful if it’s expired or has been stored incorrectly.
Check the ‘use by’ date and make sure it’s not stored in direct sunlight or exposed to heat or freezing temperatures where possible.
- Any sunscreen can be harmful if it’s expired or has been stored incorrectly. Check the ‘use by’ date and make sure it’s not stored in direct sunlight or exposed to heat or freezing temperatures where possible.
- If you don’t use your sunscreen often, keep it in a cool, dark place like your fridge or bathroom cabinet; this will help stop the ingredients from breaking down over time.