We’ve all heard about the UVA star rating system but not many of us know what it means when it comes to sun protection. Our Sun Care Specialist explains exactly what it is and gives his advice on how to find the best sunscreen for you and your family.
What is the UVA star rating system?
The UVA star rating system allows you to see the level of protection that each sunscreen offers from UVA rays. The sunscreens that offer the minimum level of protection have one star and those with the maximum have five stars. The UVA star rating demonstrates the percentage of UVA radiation that’s been absorbed by that particular sunscreen compared to UVB. Many consumers believe that the best sunscreen for them is the one with the highest UVA star rating.
Where can I find the UVA star rating?
Most sunscreens in the UK feature a UVA symbol on their packaging but they are not available on all sunscreens. This is because they are a retailer initiative. Our Calypso sunscreens do not provide a UVA star rating but they have a UVA symbol circled on the packaging. This shows the customer that the product complies with EU recommendations.
Is the UVA star rating reliable?
The UVA star rating is not completely reliable. This is the reason why some sunscreens do not have it on their packaging. The supposed level of protection that the product offers can be misleading. For example, a sunscreen with a low SPF may come with several stars indicating a high level of UVA protection. However, this is not the case as the ratio between the UVA and UVB protection is almost the same. The best sunscreen to avoid sunburn would be a SPF30 sunscreen that comes with at least a 4-star UVA rating.
How do I find the best sunscreen?
It is essential to buy a sunscreen that has a high SPF and comes with the UVA symbol. You should also do some research online to see which sunscreens have undergone independent tests by credible third parties. Our Press and Protect SPF30 Sun Lotion has been chosen as the Which? “Best Buy Sunscreen” for two years. Our other sun care products come recommended by the Independent and the Telegraph.
For more information about protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays, please see our sun safety factsheet below.