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The facts about SPF, UVA & UVB - get sun protection savvy

From a young age, we’re all told to ‘remember your sunscreen!’ - but what does it do and why is protecting ourselves so important?

 

Image showing a field full of flowers during the sunset with warm sunlight shining over them.

What types of sunlight rays are there and how can they affect my skin?

UVA Rays
UVA rays are associated with skin ageing. 95% of these rays reach the earth's surface, causing short-term effects such as immediate tanning and possible sunburn. They affect the inner cells in the top layer of skin and are responsible for causing premature ageing, pigmentation, and are even linked to some types of skin cancer. 
UVA rays present themselves all day long, all year round. They can penetrate through clouds and windows too, so even on the cloudy days that you spend indoors, you’re still exposed and should always remember your SPF!
UVB Rays
UVB rays have shorter wavelengths, so only 5% of these reach the earth’s surface. However, they have a considerably higher energy level meaning their damage can be a lot more severe. Overexposure to UVB rays is what can cause your skin to blister and burn. It is also the cause for most skin cancers, so it is essential to protect your skin and ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk. 
 
Image showing rose-gold sunglasses resting on a sun bed with the ocean in the background

How does SPF work?

A sunscreen acts as a filter, reducing how much UV radiation we’re exposed to. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from harmful UVB rays.
 There are two main parts to all sun protection. The active ingredient and the emulsion. The active ingredient does the sun protection work and either absorbs or reflects the UV rays. 
 The sun protection factor is calculated by how much of the UVB gets through the screen.  The British Association of Dermatologists recommend SPF 30 is a good level to use to keep skin protected. 

What makes ARK Skincare's Skin Protecting SPF 30 Primer so special?

Product Image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer on a cream background next to a sunflower and vibrant yellow petals.
Our Skin protecting SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and light weight moisturiser in one. It offers 'broad-spectrum’ UV protection which means unlike many products, it protects from both UVA & UVB rays.
By making this part of your daily skincare routine, you’ll keep your skin protected without even having to think about it!

You can find out more about this product here.

References:

NHS - Sunscreen & Sun Safety

ColorScience -  How Does Sunscreen Work To Protect Your Skin?

The Explainer - What Does SPF Mean & How Is It Measured

"I don't need SPF any more - the sun has gone"

ARK skincare's SPF 30 Primer laid next to a sunflower

So, the sun was short-lived! Time to put the flip flops and sunscreen away again? Wrong! Keep that SPF protection to hand. You still need it.

UV rays can be damaging all year round and can actually even be stronger when it is cloudy. According to studies in the USA and Australia, UV rays can be strengthened by clouds as rays may bounce off them, or be redirected and scattered causing a higher, amplified UV threat to us on the ground. So do not be fooled - keep wearing that SPF protection!

What is SPF Protection? We are all constantly told to use it. But why do we need it and how does it work?

We are all aware that over exposure to the sun can be harmful. Skin diseases, cancers, and photo-ageing are increasing around the world, and we need to protect against the sun's damaging rays which cause this with broad spectrum protection. Having broad spectrum protection means we are protected against both UVB (burning) and UVA (ageing) rays. Did you know, UVA rays are not susceptible to seasonal variations and are a threat all year round? They can even penetrate glass, so skin should still be protected when indoors near a window or in the car, or on a train.

What is the best way to protect ourselves? There are two types of protection. Physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients which work by sitting on top of the skin (often giving the skin a white appearance) to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are effective at protecting against UVB rays however, they can not protect against the full spectrum of rays.

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays (and converting them to heat) and offer full protection against the whole spectrum of damaging UVA and UVB rays. They tend to be lighter in texture than physical SPF products, and do not block pores or cause breakouts, so are often preferred as an everyday solution.

Which approach does ARK Skincare take?

ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF30 Primer is classified as a chemical SPF. We chose this route as we believe it is very important to offer a product with broad spectrum protection. The award winning formula contains protection against sun damage and associated premature ageing. It is a beautifully light weight moisturiser which offers a great base for make up and is easily adapted to your everyday routine. Whilst the formulation contains the necessary chemical compounds to offer effective protection, it is still 64.84% natural as it contains active naturals to hydrate, offer antioxidant protection, and provide a silky smooth luminous finish to the skin.

There are a lot of skin protection options available, and you can read more on the pros and cons of different sunscreens here. The choice is yours. But whatever you decide, make sure you use a broad spectrum SPF daily, whatever the weather.
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Shop our SPF30Primer now:
 
ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer