Both UVB & UVA rays from the sun can cause skin cancer but not all sunscreens protect your skin fully. There are 2 separate ratings you need to look for when choosing a sunscreen…
- UVB rays cause burning of the skin
- UVA rays cause ageing of the skin and wrinkles
Both UVB & UVA rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and so there are 2 ratings of protection provided by sunscreen:
- UVB is rated by the SPF or factor
- UVA is a star rating from 0 to 5 stars
All sunscreens have an SPF or Sun Factor rating clearly marked on the bottle which tells you that your skin is protected from the UVB rays (the rays that cause sunburn) but many people are unaware that this does not offer their skin total protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
There is another rating which is not always present on sunscreen bottles – for the level of protection against UVA rays (the rays that cause deeper, lasting damage such as skin ageing and wrinkles). UVA protection is measured by a star rating, up to five stars, with 5 stars offering the most protection.
When selecting a sunscreen, always choose one with a 5 star rating and a high SPF for the best protection from the damaging effects of the sun.