SPF, we see the word all the time, but what does it actually mean?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It basically refers to how long the sunscreen will protect you before you start to burn (sunburn = sun damage).
Because some UV radiation still gets through the sunscreen and into your skin, the SPF number refers to roughly how long it will take for a person's skin to turn red. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will prevent your skin from getting red for approximately 15 times longer than usual (so if you start to burn in 10 minutes, sunscreen with SPF 15 will prevent burning for about 150 minutes).
What does SPF 50 mean?
A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 protects against about 93% of UVB rays, one with an SPF of 30 protects against 97% of rays and a sunscreen with an SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, according to the Mayo Clinic. Or, another way of looking at it is:
- SPF 15 (93% protection) allows 7 out of 100 photons through
- SPF 50 (98% protection) allows 2 out of 100 photons through
So, while it may not seem that you're increasing your level of protection by a significant amount, an SPF 50 sunscreen will block three times the radiation than an SPF 15 sunscreen would let through to your skin.
There is no sunscreen that can block 100% of UV rays, which is why it is important not to spend prolonged periods of time in the sun, even whilst wearing sunscreen.
The Skin & Cancer Foundation recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 50+.
But UVB isn’t the only type of ray you need protection from…
No there are UVA & UVB rays.
Both UVA and UVB are forms of ultraviolet light that penetrate the earth's atmosphere. UVA’s penetrate deep into the skin’s dermis which is the skin's thickest layer (they are around all day and all year long and can penetrate glass). Unprotected UVA exposure can lead to premature aging, wrinkling of the skin and cancer. UVB is what generates a "burn" or redness to the skin.
Both can contribute to skin cancers and one in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer. That is why it is really important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from both.
Just to clarify – broad-spectrum sunscreen means protection from both UVA & UVB Rays.
But what about the chemicals in sunscreen?
There is a misconception about chemicals in sunscreen. There is no such thing as a “chemical-free” sunscreen, as everything is made of a chemical of some sort.
There are two types of filters used in sunscreen - physical (mineral) and active (chemical). Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are often found in physical sunscreens and are created in a lab using a chemical process
So, no our sunscreens are not “natural”.
Whilst our formulations are unique and have allowed us to remove many unnecessary ingredients commonly used in sunscreen, it is important to note that all sunscreens, including mineral, must contain some form of chemical, whether it is organic or inorganic (zinc oxide for example) to block UV rays. For this reason, we do not claim to be a 'natural sunscreen' as this is often misinterpreted.
And organic sunscreens?
All sunscreens are organic as they are made up of organic compounds. Organic is a confusing and misrepresented term when it comes to sunscreen.
We are proudly one of the first Australian sunscreen companies to produce a broad spectrum PRESERVATIVE FREE sunscreen. We have also managed to eliminate parabens, oxybenzone and octinoxate from our formulas, without compromising on sun protection.
"We hope this provides some clarification. If you have any questions, just let us know?"