What are UV rays?

What are UV rays?

UV rays – or ultraviolet radiation – is the part of sunlight which causes sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation can be broken down into three bands: UVA, UVB, and UVC.


Does the amount of UV rays reaching Earth vary?

The amount of UV rays reaching the Earth’s surface varies throughout the day. The danger period is between 10am and 3pm. These are the hours when skin damage occurs the fastest. On a cloud-free day, we can feel maximum ultraviolet rays. However, ultraviolet levels are not related to the air temperature. There can be high levels of ultraviolet rays on cool days and UV rays still reach the Earth’s surface when there is cloud cover.

The higher the UV radiation levels, the less time it takes for skin damage to occur.

UV radiation levels are more intense between 10am – 3pm, when you need to be most vigilant about using products with UV protection such as sunscreen to shield yourself from UV light.

UV radiation levels are recorded using a UV Index (UVI), and being aware of the UVI on any particular day can help guide you in making sure you are using the right level of protection to stay sun safe.


Can I get sunburn on a cloudy day?

Can I get sunburn on a cloudy day?

You can suffer sun damage even on a cloudy day. Believe it or not, up to 80 per cent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through clouds and fog, so even though you might feel more protected because you can’t feel the heat of the sun (or see your shadow!) you still need to practice sun safety and wear sun screen.


Can I use a lower SPF on cloudy days?

You should still use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on cloudy days. In fact, some research has shown that particular types of clouds can increase the focus of UV light, raising the risk factor.


Does layering sunscreen increase SPF protection?

Does layering sunscreen increase SPF protection?

Layering two SPF does not add up to a higher level of protection. Using an SPF8 and SPF15 together won’t allow you to remain in the sun 23 times longer than without protection. It’s not additive, and you should always aim for a higher SPF rather than a lower one to be sun safe.

The table below shows the level of protection you can expect from different SPF products, but please remember these are a general guide only and protection can vary based on application, outdoor conditions and physical activity. You need to determine how long you’ll be in the sun, along with your skin type, and choose the appropriate SPF level for you.


What does SPF mean?

SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and is a measure of how well a sun screen product protects the skin from UV radiation compared to unprotected skin. Broad spectrum sunscreens, like Banana Boat, protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.