Do you know your UVA from your UVB?


As the summer holiday season has arrived we are stocking up on our suncreams this year for not only our overseas destinations but also our staycations as the heatwave in the UK continues.

Do you know what you are looking for when you scour the shelves for which product to buy? Do I need UVA, do I need UVB - what SPF do I need?

Here is a brief explanation to help you understand a little more about the markings on your next purchase of sun cream courtesy of Reality Check at the BBC.

What is UVA - Ultraviolet A and B are different wavelengths of radiation from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere.

UVA is associated with ageing of the skin and pigmentation as well as skin cancer (particularly squamous cell carcinoma - the second most common type). It can affect human skin even through glass.

UVB causes sunburn and is linked to particular types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer) and malignant melanoma.

Sunscreen doesn't stop all types of skin damage so it's also important to cover up and seek shade when the sun is strongest.

SPF - Sun Protection Factor indicates the amount of time you can stay in the sun unprotected so if for example you can stay in the sun for 10 mins without burning then Factor 15 would mean you in theory should be able to stay in the sun 15 times longer. However no product will provide 100% protection. Suncreams should always be applied regularly

Star Rating - tells you how much UVA that is absorbed by sunscreen in comparison to how much UVB is absorbed.

The British Association of Dermatologists says sunscreen with SPF 30 is a "satisfactory form of sun protection in addition to protective shade and clothing" and that it should be reapplied at least every two hours, no matter what SPF it is.

Always take care in the sun - particularly during the hottest part of the day 11am to 3pm - cover up in light clothing or sit in the shade to get the utmost protection.

Most of all continue to enjoy this great weather we are all having - Stay Safe

#GreatBritain #UKTourism #Summer #Tourism #Holidays

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