SPF and Broad Spectrum Protection: Essential Knowledge for Brand Owners

Most people know that if they spend too much time in the sun, they run the risk of burning. But many people don’t know that exposure to the sun can do a lot more damage than just a patch of red skin. If people don’t regularly apply sunscreen to their face and bodies – even when it doesn’t appear to be a hot summer’s day outside – it can cause irreversible damage to the skin that, in the best case, could turn into a painful burn. In the worst case could lead to various skin issues and even skin cancer. It’s important, as brand owners, to offer your customers products that come with SPF so they can protect their skin from the dangerous effects of the sun.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is SPF and Broad Spectrum Protection?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of a product's ability to protect the skin from the sun’s UVB rays which can cause sunburn and contribute to the development of skin cancer.

You will commonly see products with SPF30 or SPF50, which indicates the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burned compared to if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen at all. So, if you have SPF50 on your skin, you can stay outside for 50 times longer.

Broad spectrum protection refers to products that are able to protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays. You can remember the difference between the two types of rays easily if you think that UVA contributes to aging and UVB to burning.

What SPF Should I Use in My Product?

As a rule, we’d recommend using the highest SPF possible in a product. Although some people may view SPF15 as adequate, it really doesn’t offer much protection – especially if someone plans to be outside all day. Normally, a minimum of SPF30 is enough to provide enough protection, but it never hurts to go all the way and use SPF50 where possible.

What are The Difficulties in Working With SPF?

One of the main issues that brand owners run into when developing sunscreens is the limited amount of UV filters approved for use in the USA. Compared to places like Europe, where a broad range of modern filters can be used to create non-greasy, invisible sunscreens, these are just not available for use in the USA – at the moment.

If you need help formulating a sunscreen for your brand, we’d love to hear from you!


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