Busting sun care myths

What is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. There are two main forms of SPF protection - chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens protect our skin by creating a chemical reaction and converting UV rays into heat. They then release heat from the skin. They are often referred to as UV absorbers.

The higher the SPF, the more chemicals they contain. The SPF provided from a chemical sunscreen is only able to protect us from UVB rays, the burning or tanning sun ray. If your SPF doesn’t specify ‘broad spectrum’ SPF, the likelihood is you have little or no protection from the UVA - the ageing rays. Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to reflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin.

They are often referred to as physical blockers and are able to filter out both UVA and UVB light. Think of it as wearing UV protective clothing.

Read the article in Velvet magazine here