SPF, UVA and UVB: What does it all mean?

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and, in the UK, is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation protection. Simply put, the higher the factor number, the higher the UVB protection.

UVA, on the other hand, stands for ultraviolet A radiation and can be measured by the star rating on UK sunscreens. The higher the star rating, the better the protection—with a five-star rating being the best.

If a sunscreen refers to itself as “broad spectrum” then this means that it offers both UVA and UVB protection. However, in the UK, if sunscreen has both an SPF rating and a star rating, then it will also protect you against both types of rays.

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