UVA, UVB, broad spectrum and star ratings when it comes to sun protection. Click here to read more.


It turns out a few of you are interested in what I have to say, and as a result here I am sat in the evening desperately wanting to turn on the TV  and zone out from the world, but instead I am writing my first blog wondering if my English language skills are good enough to put myself out there? Based on my favourite boy, his school homework, and the fact I have no idea on the difference between a phoneme and grapheme ( don't bother googling I still couldn't understand), its a miracle I passed that GCSE!!! Any errors are entirely my own ( or the proof reading mate), I hope they are not too distracting!!


What I do know about is the skin and the ageing process, and God Damn it no matter how hard any of  us try it’s still happening to all of us. So based on the fact that May is Skin cancer awareness month (if you've seen our recent Facebook posts you know we are banging on about sun protection ) and lets talk about whats the difference between UVA, UVB, broad spectrum and star ratings when it comes to sun protection!!!


UVA rays- these are the pesky rays responsible for a major part of our ageing and they penetrate with equal intensity during all daylight hours. They can even penetrate glass and clouds and they are the reason we should all be wearing a SPF daily, all year round! UVA rays penetrate the skin at a deeper level and over the last twenty years scientists now believe  that UVA contributes and may even, initiate the development of skin cancers. UVA is the dominant tanning ray.


UVB rays are the ones that are responsible for us burning they are the chief cause of reddening and sunburn ( a significant risk for skin cancer ). These rays tend to do damage at a more superficial level, but they do age us too. They thankfully do not significantly penetrate glass. 

Just to clear up this whole “which SPF should I wear ?” question…….

SPF 15 screens out 93% of the suns UVB rays, 

SPF 30 screens 97% and

SPF 50 only 1% more at 98%. 

So even at SPF 15, this will provide adequate daily protection most days unless you're holidaying or actively sunbathing.

 But this is why we need to ensure we use a broad spectrum suncream which is protecting us from both UVA and UVB. As incase you missed the point…. SPF products only protect the skin from UVB rays.

In terms of you actively sunbathing the number will also determine how long you can stay in the sun without burning i.e. if you burn within ten minutes with no sunscreen, apply SPF 15 and stay in the sun 10mins x SPF 15 = 150 mins with out burning. But realistically that is going depend on where you are, your skin type and what you're doing. 


It is the star ratings that are about protecting you from  the UVA rays and the higher the star rating the better the protection.This is still a bit of grey area and some products don't have a star rating, but the words UVA with a circle around it is showing it’s up to EU the standard. Other non-Uk products don't have to demonstrate this at all, such as our Environ range product, their sunscreen RAD. This is because  it is  a South African range and so it isn't required to have this info but it is the equivalent to a UVA rating of 5. By the way,Environ has been completely designed around protection from skin cancer by the way as cosmetic surgeon Dr Des was seeing it too often in South Africa and decided to bring out a range to help to reverse the damage. There are a list of ingredients which you can always look out for if you are concerned. 


Daily moisturisers with the SPF added in are not recommended by many professional skin care houses, due to the fact you want one ingredient to travel through the surface of the skin ( the anti ageing one ) and one to sit on the surface of the skin ( the SPF one ). Also if you are re-applying your SPF throughout the day do you really want to waste your moisturiser too? 




JI Suncream.PNG

Finally did you know all our Jane Iredale Make up bases ( except liquid minerals) have the stamp of approval from the skin cancer foundation as offering recommended protection against UVA and UVB rays. This is Very rare for makeup brands to have this so we are delighted that at BB we offer a range that has this symbol as it goes hand in hand with everything we believe. We want to look after you for a long time to come and we want you to protect your skin from excessive sun so you don't undo all the good and hard work we put into keeping you being the best you possible. 


Stay safe, enjoy the summer  and remember to check your skin. If you are worried or want some one to help you take pictures of moles or freckles or marks you can always pop in and see us and we will help keep an eye for you. 


Love Caroline x