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28th Jun 2019

Why you need to look out for both UVA and UVB protection when buying sun cream

Laura Holland

Did you know this?

When you’re buying sun cream, the usual approach is to make sure that you have a high enough factor to protect your skin. With our Irish skin tone, we need all the factor we can get.

But, when it comes to choosing the right kind of sun cream, people sometimes overlook one very important part. It’s not just about the factor, you also should be buying them based on their UVA star rating.

We need to protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays. The higher the factor, the more protected you are from the UVB rays but the UVA rating on a bottle of sun cream is equally important.

It indicates the percentage of UVA radiation absorbed by the sun cream and comes in a five-star rating starting with 0 and going up to 5.

The British Association of Dermatologists has said that you must look at the factor and the UVA rating saying:

“Be aware that if you choose a low SPF it may still have a high level of stars, not because it is providing lots of UVA protection, but because the ratio between the UVA and UVB protection is about the same.”

They’ve suggested:

“A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and a UVA rating of 4 or 5 stars is generally considered as a good standard of sun protection in addition to shade and clothing.”

So, it’s best to check the bottle before dousing it on yourself.