SPF, UPF & Broad-Spectrum Protection: What do they mean?
Looking at a bottle of sunscreen can be confusing. What do all the acronyms mean? Below are some basic things you should be aware of.
SPF = Sun Protection Factor
SPF measures sunscreen protection from UVB rays which are the kind that cause sunburn and contribute to skin cancer.
- If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about 5 hours.
- Don’t expect any sunscreen, regardless of its SPF, to stay effective for longer than 2 hours.
- Plus, your skin can still be damaged even without getting a sunburn
UPF = Ultraviolet Protection Factor
- UPF measures how well a fabric blocks ultraviolet radiation.
- A garment with a UPF of 50 only allows 1/50th of the UV radiation falling on the surface of the garment to pass through it. UPF 50+ is the highest possible rating.
- Protects against both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) sun rays.
Make sure you look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and consider finding sun-protective clothing to best protect yourself in the sun this summer.