Sun Protection Made Simple

We are here to simplify sun protection for you once and for all! Discover The Body Shop's guide to sun protection made simple.

We all know that protecting your skin from the sun is important, but why does sun protection have to be so confusing? With so many choices available to us, it can be hard to know exactly what to look for, when looking for a sunscreen. Luckily we’re here to simplify sun protection for you once and for all!

The Low Down

UV rays are a part of the light rays the sun emits and reaches the surface of the earth. Sun protection focuses on UVA and UVB rays.

What is SPF?

SPF or sun protection factor refers to a rating for the level of UVB protection in a product. The higher the SPF number, the more protection from UVB that sunscreen will provide.

What are UVA rays?

UVA (for ageing) rays penetrate deeper into the skin, reaching the dermis. They are present all year round and are responsible for skin ageing by degrading collagen and elastin. This long term damaging UVA ray represents 95% of the UV rays in total.

What are UVB rays?

UVB (for burning) rays usually burns the top layers of the skin. These harmful rays are responsible for sunburns and their intensity varies from season to season, time of day and location. This skin surface burning UVB rays represent 5% of the UV rays in total. YOUR SKIN NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED FROM BOTH UVA AND UVB RAYS.

Your Questions Answered

Are UVA and UVB rays only damaging in summer?

The intensity of UVB rays will vary by season, location and time of day. Unlike UVB rays, UVA is present all year round, whatever the season, whatever the weather and can even go through windows!

Can all skin types burn?

Yes, but all skin types have different levels of vulnerability to UV radiation, so it will take some skin types longer to burn than other skin types. Sun creams provide different levels of sun protection that help prevent the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

Is there such a thing as a safe tan?

A fake tan is always the safest type of tan! Wearing a moisturiser with a sunscreen daily will help to minimise the UVA/UVB damage.

What actually happens in our skin cells when we tan?

The skin’s natural pigmentation is due to melanin. A migration of melanin begins following exposure to the sun and tanning is the result of delayed pigmentation. The sun’s UVA rays penetrate the dermal layer of the skin and actively destroys the collagen and elastin fibers. As the face, neck and hands are most often exposed to UVA, they are often the first to show signs of ageing.

Is there a ‘safe’ way to tan?

A fake tan is always the safest type of tan! Wearing a moisturiser with a sunscreen daily will help to minimise the UVA/UVB damage.

When is the best time to go out in the sun?

It’s best to go out in the sun when the sun’s rays aren’t at their strongest. Avoid the midday sun and stick to early mornings and late afternoons. Try not to stay in the sun for more than an hour and always wear sun protection and a hat!

Help! I’ve been burnt! What should I do?

Get out of the sun as soon as possible. Soothe your skin with a water based emollient to keep it cool and moist. Drink plenty of fluids and apply a cold compress such as a cold flannel. Avoid applying products that could irritate your skin further.

We Have You Covered

Now that you know more about the damages of UVB and UVA rays, you know that you don’t need to be hitting the beach to benefit from sun protection. Even city living can you leave you exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Help protect your skin with our brilliant selection of products featuring sun protection, which work hard to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

We love our lightweight and non-greasy Vitamin E Moisture Lotion SPF 15, which helps to defend against sundamage, to help prevent premature ageing while keeping your skin moisturised all day long.

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Don’t forget your lips can burn too! Pop our Vitamin E Moisture-Protect Lip Care SPF 15 into your bag and apply throughout the day for peachy-soft, kissable lips.

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Our Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser SPF 15 is also perfect for adding sun protection to your daily skin care routine whilst helping to keep your skin’s healthy looking glow.

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New to the Vitamin E Lineup!

Our bestselling Vitamin E range sees the arrival of an exciting new addition: our new Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion to prepare and activate skin for enhanced moisture.

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