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SPF & STAR RATINGS

because labelling on sunscreens, moisturisers and makeup that offer sun protection can often be more confusing than helpful, here’s our guide to what it all means and what to look out for

whats in a number

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is followed by a number- it indicates the level of protection against UVB (burning) rays only – not UVA (ageing) rays.

SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays

SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays

SPF 50 blocks about 99% of UVB rays

only broad-spectrum products protect against UVA and UVB rays – but check ingredients cover both UVA1 and UVA2 – some only cover UVA2

SPF measures the length of time a product will protect your skin from burning compared to the time your skin would burn without protection.

if your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes, applying an SPF 15 would allow you to stay in the sun for approximately 150 minutes (15 x longer) without burning, dependant on skin type and intensity of the sun.

layering two products with SPF ratings does not increase the overall SPF rating.

read more

star ratings

star ratings refer to UVA protection – stars range from 0 to 5 and indicate the % of UVA absorbed in comparison to UVB

star ratings are an industry standard in the UK & Ireland.

SPF 30 with 3 UVA stars offers HIGH level protection, blocking 97% of UVB rays and up to 80% of UVA rays.

in Europe, UVA in a circle indicates that UVA cover is equal to a third of UVB – in other countries, level of UVA cover may be indicated by the letters, PA with cover ranging from one + to +++

 

sunscreen ingredients fall into two categories, mineral (physical) or non-mineral (traditional organic chemicals).

mineral sunscreen ingredients work by reflecting the UV rays away from the skin, and are often associated with a white cast.

non-mineral sunscreen ingredients work by absorbing the UV rays, and it is important that ingredients combinations are photo-stable over time.

sunscreen ingredients

non-mineral sunscreens should be applied 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure for effective protection.

mineral sunscreens are effective immediately.

broad-spectrum formulations typically contain a combination of ingredients to ensure protection against UVB and UVA. ingredients that protect against both UVA2 and UVA1, are advised since UVA1 is very damaging.

 

ALBUS & FLORA balms

our balms contain sunscreen ingredients that are photo-stable and give broad-spectrum protection against UVB, UVA1 and UVA2.

our balms are fortified with natural UV protectants and anti-oxidants to enhance protection.

alpine rose from high in the Alps and arctic raspberry seed oil, provide powerful defense against the elements.

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