Right, being a Melanoma Survivor/campaigner/awareness maker.. I get asked A LOT of questions but the topic that stands out the most is suncream..
What suncream is best?
Lets do a little gems lesson in SPF & UVA STAR RATING..
The best suncream to pick isn’t just based on the factor or (SPF) It is, however based on both the UVA star rating and SPF.. with studies showing 4&5 star, high factor creams giving the best protection.
What does this mean?
So this means, for all those times you (myself included) have picked a ‘well known and trusted brand’ say.. Nivea factor 30.. thinking it has the best protection because its well known.. That might not be the case!
What is the UVA star rating?
Not many people know about the UVA star rating and ill be the first admit that before I developed cancer, I didnt either! I picked nivea as an example because that was the brand I used and trusted but thinking back, I always burnt! (Isn’t that the whole point of wearing suncream.. Not to burn?)
The picture above is what the UVA star rating looks like on packaging, it is recommended we use products with 4 or 5 star rating as these block out the highest amound of UV light..
UV light is what gives us wrinkles, premature skin aging, burning and of course if over exposed, leads to skin cancer.
So, What is SPF?
So.. A factor 15 suncream means you can stay in the sun for 150 minutes before having to reapply. Factor 30 – 300 minutes etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The SPF rating does not include protection from harmful UVA rays, This is why we have the UVA STAR RATING.. (Are we all following?)
I did a little test on my facebook page asking my followers, out of both these factor 30 suncreams, had the BEST protection..
80% of people said Nivea.
Because it was a well known brand and the Asda’s own was ‘too cheap’
Infact, it was the Asda’s own branded suncream that had the best protection, Having a 5 uva star rating, compared to the pathetic 3 stars that the nivea had..
So if buying off the shelf themselves 80% of people would have walked away with an more expensive suncream thinking they were fully protected, when really.. they wheren’t! (please note- prices where right at time of purchase)
NIVEA FACTOR 30 PROTECTS & MOISTURE £5 = 3 STARS (BOOOOOOO)
ASDA OWN BRANDED FACTOR 30 SUN LOTION £3.50 or 2 £7 = 5 STARS (YAYYYYYY)
I understand that the infomation above can be a little confusing but I hope ive explained things in a more simpler term.. Basically when picking a suncream, we have TWO things to look out for.. UVA STAR RATING & SPF!
4 or 5 UVA STAR RATING
I RECOMMEND NO LESS THEN FACTOR 20 ON FAIR SKIN, 15 ON OLIVE, 30&50 ON CHILDREN
ALWAYS REAPPLY ESPECIALLY WHEN IN AND OUT OF WATER.
The higher the star rating and factor the better protection! Simple.