Five tips for choosing the right SPF

natural suncare

Summer is here! This is the time when many of us are restocking our sun cream supply. But with all that information about SPF, UVA and UVB protection … it’s easy to get confused, so here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know to make the right sunscreen choices.









1.     What is an SPF anyway?

Now I love an acronym as much as the next person, but much like the season finale of Lost, if you don’t know what it means, it’s all a bit pointless. Put simply, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the SPF tells you how long you can stay in the sun without burning, so, a factor 20 means you can stay out for up to 20 times longer than you could without protection (simple).  


2.     Always err on the side of caution

How quickly you burn can be affected by other factors – like how sensitive or pale your skin is, whether you’re sweating or swimming – so be sensible, stay out of the sun in midday, opt for a higher SPF or get a waterproof sun cream if you need it.


3.     How high should your SPF go?

Experts recommend using a minimum of SPF15 to SPF30 sunscreen to keep yourself safe. At BigGreenSmile we have the largest selection of natural and organic sunscreens in the UK so finding what you need is easy. Click on the links to browse the SPF choices: SPF15, SPF20, SPF30 and SPF50.


4. UVA vs UVBs - what does it all mean?

It isn’t just about SPF protection. You need to protect against UVA and UVB rays too. Why?

UVB rays are responsible for burning as well as tanning your skin (note the ‘B’ for burn in UVB) and these are the main culprits responsible for skin cancer. While UVA rays won't actually cause sunburn, they penetrate your skin more deeply, leading to those nasty signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots, yikes (so think ageing when you see the ‘A’ in UVA).  


5.     What to look for

Look for organic sunscreens and sun blocks that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for all-round protection against UVA and UVB rays, or phrases like multi-spectrum, broad spectrum or simply UVA/UVB protection on sunscreen labels. We’ve picked out a few of our bestsellers for you here

For more advice on sunscreen, check out our article here.