Doing STUF? #protectup #stufprotectionfactor
Doing stuf? Protect up!
Sunscreen is used to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are a short
wavelength only penetrating the surface (epidermis) of the skin, causing the skin to burn. UVA
penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB, and will cause immediate suntan, not sunburn. UVA
also generates free radicals in living skin, which contribute to skin damage, wrinkling, and skin
What does spf mean and how does it work?
SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and it measures how well a sunscreen protects you
against UVB rays (they cause sunBURN). If your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes in
the sun, applying an SPF 15 sunscreen would allow you to stay in the sun without burning for
approximately 150 minutes (a factor of 15 times longer)
“My sunscreen has a high spf, I’m sorted.” – know your STUF!
The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) scale is not linear:
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
What does broad spectrum protection mean?
Broad spectrum protection refers to protection over the full range of UVA and UVB waves.
A really high SPF, such as SPF 75 or SPF 100, doesn’t offer significantly greater protection than SPF 30 and this is misleading, making you think you have more protection than you actually
do. For a sunscreen to offer protection in a broad spectrum, the UVA protection should be at
least 1/3 of the UVB protection. High SPF sunscreens usually offer far greater UVB than UVA
protection, giving a false sense of full protection.
So what allows my sunscreen to protect me?
Active ingredients inside the sunscreen help protect us against UVA and UVB rays. The active ingredient can either be a mineral or a synthetic chemical. The US FDA Sunscreen Monograph
lists seventeen allowed sunscreen active ingredients. Each active ingredient has its own unique
spectrum of protection, ranging from full UVB protection to full UVA protection and everything in between.
See chart below.
Mineral v.s. Chemical Blockers
Mineral (also known as mechanical or physical) sunscreens protect your skin from the sun by
deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays. They generally don’t cause a skin reaction and can be
used on sensitive skins. They start protecting you immediately once applied. These need to be
reapplied more frequently.
Chemical (synthetic) sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. Some chemical filters can
scatter sun rays, but still mostly just absorb them. These may cause skin irritation and allergic
reactions. If you get this sunscreen into your eyes it will sting and cause them to water. You
MUST wait 20min once applied before it provides effective protection. These are colourless
and generally runny, easy to apply.
What else should I be aware of?
Most people under-apply sunscreens, using ¼ to ½ the amount required. Using half the
required amount of sunscreen only provides the square root of the SPF. So, a half application of an SPF 30 sunscreen only provides an effective SPF of 5.5! Sunscreen also needs to be
reapplied every 2 hours.
Why should I use STUF Sunscreen?
Our STUF is a broad spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen and is a CANSA Sunsmart Choice. Providing
protection from UVA and UVB. The sunscreen is mineral based with the two main active
ingredients being Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Non-greasy, no eye burn and water
resistant for up to two hours! Hypoallergenic properties make it ideal for sensitive skins.
Moisturising and enriched with Vit A, C and E.