What Does Broad Spectrum and SPF Really Mean?

A medical grade SPF that protects the skin from UV rays and sun damage.

Ever wonder what SPF and broad spectrum represents? You see it often (maybe everyday), but do you actually understand the true meaning of SPF and broad spectrum? If you didn’t…your not alone, I didn’t either up until my late 20’s! I had no idea what the values 20, 30, 40, 50+ meant, and if broad spectrum was even important. It was only when I started to research into anti-wrinkle and anti-aging products is when I found the importance and benefits of using sunscreen. I am so excited to share with you all that I have gathered. Let’s get technical!

Sunscreen is a cream, lotion or product that is rubbed onto the skin protecting it from the suns harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. SPF (Sun protection factor), is the measure of how long the sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The chief cause of reddening and sunburn, UVB rays tend to damage the epidermis, skin’s outer layers, where the most common forms of skin cancer occur. The sun also emits (UV) A rays, which can penetrate into the lower level of the skin, called the dermis. UVA rays are typically associated with “tanning.” SPF numbers usually refers only to UVB rays, but some sunscreens can protect against UVA as well. The term Broad spectrum, is used to describe a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

The SPF number indicates the amount of sun exposure needed to cause sunburn on skin protected with sunscreen compared with skin that is not protected with sunscreen. For example, an SPF of 30 means it would take a person 30 times longer to burn when wearing sunscreen than the person would without sunscreen.

Now, when you are shopping for a good sunscreen look for products that are UVA/UVB broad spectrum SPF. My personal favourite is AlumierMD Clear Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 42. Use my code: Q5MXQSET to register an account and order online at www.alumiermd.ca.