There’s quite a few posts circulating on social media at the moment detailing which sunscreen you should choose, and which are most effective. We thought we’d get the facts for you, so here they are in a nutshell:
- What is UVA, UBB and SPF? UV Radiation is transmitted in different wavelengths, UVA/UVB/UVC. However, UVC can’t penetrate the atmosphere. We need only protect against UVA/UVB rays.
- UVA affects the elastin and pigmentation in the skin, which can lead to skin ageing but it’s also what causes you to tan – due to melanin being produced. It can also lead to skin cancer.
- UVB is the culprit behind sunburn, and also has very strong links to malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, as well as other types of skin cancer. Sunscreen with high sun protection factor (SPF) helps to block most UVB rays which prevent skin from burning. It also helps reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Which should I choose? Sunscreens are labelled based on their SPF rating, and UVA star rating. You should be choosing a sunscreen with a high SPF (30+, and 50+ for children ideally) and a 4/5 star UVA rating. The star rating indicates the percentage of UVA rays that are obsorbed, in comparison to UVB. It’s the ratio between the protection offered by the sunscreen.
- What does that mean? If you buy a SPF30, with 2 stars – this means the level of UVA protection is lower than that of the UVB protection being offered. We recommend always going with both a high SPF, and 4/5 star rating.
- Remember: More expensive doesn’t always mean better! Some of the best sunscreen can be purchased from discount stores, and budget supermarkets!
Information References: bad.org.uk & melanomaireland.ie.