Brands A - Z
Advice

SPF: What is Sun Protection Factor?

SPF: What is Sun Protection Factor?

SPF, or more specifically Sun Protection Factor, measures the protection your skin will receive from UVB rays. Broad Spectrum Protection on the other hand, means that your sunscreen shields from both UVA and UVB rays, making it the best option when it comes to suncare for your skin.

We are delving into the nitty gritty information about UV rays as a whole, what sun protection is best to protect your skin and how you can keep safe in the summer sun.

What are UVB rays?

Responsible for causing sunburn and contributing to skin cancer, UVB is short wavelength radiation, which essentially means that it penetrates the upper and topmost layer of skin cells; causing sunburn, accelerated ageing and potential skin cancer. The intensity of their rays differs throughout different times of the year, but they’re most prevalent during the summer months when the sun burns brightest.

The sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen is responsible for blocking out these UVB rays and shielding your skin against their damaging effects.

  • SPF 15 blocks out 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks out 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 blocks out 98% of UVB rays

UVA vs UVB

There are 2 different types of UV rays which can penetrate our skin and cause long-term damage: UVA and UVB. As discussed above, UVB are the short wavelength rays which cause sunburn and redness. UVA on the other hand are long wavelength rays and penetrate much deeper into the skin. They are present all year round, and can even penetrate through the clouds and glass (think about when you’re driving and how we don’t often protect our skin, but are surrounded by windows).

What is broad spectrum protection?

Sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays is referred to as broad spectrum protection and helps to keep your skin as protected as possible.

Top 5 SPF’s with broad spectrum protection

  1. Murad Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50
  2. Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50
  3. ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30
  4. Jurlique UV Defence High Protection Lotion
  5. Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50
  1. Murad Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50
    Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Murad Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50

    With an SPF of 50 and a broad spectrum defence against both UVA and UVB rays, this is the perfect everyday sunscreen to include in your skincare routine. Specially formulated to shield against damaging environmental aggressors like pollution and smog, it helps to keep your skin protected against all the elements for a really healthy finish.

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Paula's Choice Resist Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50
    Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Paula's Choice Resist Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

    Raved about super blogger Fleur de Force in her April Beauty Favourites for 2018 video, the Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Hydrating Fluid has an SPF of 50, which shields against both UVA and UVB rays. Clinically proven to be non-irritating, it’s ideal for all skin types, but especially for those with oily and combination complexions as it delivers a soft, matte finish.

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 50
    Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 50

    If you love the original ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (who doesn’t?), but you want to update it for your summer skincare routine, then switch it for its broad spectrum big sister, the SPF 30 version. Formulated with the same amazing set of anti-ageing and glow-inducing ingredients, this is the perfect moisturiser if you want the highest protection without compromising on your favourite product.

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. Jurlique UV Defence High Protection Lotion
    Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Jurlique UV Defence High Protection Lotion

    Jurlique is a natural skincare brand, renowned for its blend of beautiful ingredients. Their UV Defence High Protection Lotion contains chamomile and echinacea to soothe and calm redness, while its broad spectrum SPF 50 protection shield against the sun’s damaging rays for a healthy and soft finish to the skin; perfect for makeup application.

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50
    Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50

    The gorgeously lightweight and “melt-into-the-skin” texture of the Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection not only gives the skin great protection against UVA and UVB damage, but also helps to create a perfect canvas for makeup application. The oil-free formula makes it perfect for all skin types, but especially those who get a little shiny in the summer!

    Buy now with free delivery


Amelia

Amelia

Skincare Specialist

I am a big believer in the idea that beautiful Make Up begins with a superb skincare regime. I like to enhance my natural beauty rather than cover up and I am always on the lookout for great products which really work. When I am not writing about all things beauty, I like to do Yoga and I make an amazing brownie. It is all about balance!