From the desk of our Skin Expert.

How SPF works

  • SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.
  • SPF is the ability of a sunscreen to delay sun induced redness and burning.
  • Normally only measures UVB protection, not UVA.
  • Sunscreens absorb or reflect UV.
  • SPF (15) x time (10 minutes) it would normally take to burn = length of time in the sun before re-applying sunblock (150 minutes).

Dr. Claudia Aguirre shares a formula to work out how much protection different sun sunscreens provide. SPF (SPF15) – 1 = (14) divided by original SPF (0,93) x 100 = % protection (93,3%)Chemical vs. physical sun protection

Chemical Physical
Absorbers Blockers
Interact with the skin’s top layer to absorb rays Sit on the skin and reflect or scatter UV rays
Converts rays to energy White cast on skin reflect the rays
Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide (Micronized versions contain nanoparticles and appear more clear on the skin)
Normally use a combination to protect against UVA and UVB Zinc Oxide protects against UVA and UVB, whereas Titanium Dioxide protects against UVB mainly but does protect against UVA too

Most recent regulations

Broad Spectrum: only sunscreens that pass the FDA’s Board Spectrum test may be labelled as ‘Broad-Spectrum’.

SPF15 or higher: only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can claim to help reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures.

‘Waterproof’, ‘Sweatproof’ or ’Sunblock’: claims are no longer allowed due to the fact that they overstate the effectiveness of the product. This also applies to the term ‘Faceblock’

Water resistant claims: label must indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing.

Dermalogica's Daylight Defense offering

Solar Defense Booster SPF50
Broad Spectrum sunscreen that adds critical UV defense to your moisturiser or foundation.
solar defense booster

Oil Free Matte SPF30
Oil-free, Broad Spectrum sunscreen helps prevent shine on oily and breakout-prone skin.
oil free matte

Ultra Sensitive Tint SPF30
Broad Spectrum sunscreen with tinted earth minerals helps calm sensitised, reactive and recently resurfaced skin. Contains our exclusive UltraCalming Complex.
ultra sensitive tint

Super Sensitive Shield SPF30
Chemical-free Broad Spectrum sunscreen ideal for sensitised, reactive and recently resurfaced skin. Contains our exclusive UltraCalming Complex.
super sensitive shield

Protection 50 Sport SPF50 This broad-spectrum sunscreen which utilises lipid-rich Oleosomes  that boost sun protection (SPF50) and antioxidants to help defend the skin. The formula includes a blend of essential oils to soothe irritation from UV exposure, while Hyaluronic Acid binds moisture to the skin without greasiness. This product is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and is a must-have for extreme sport enthusiasts who are frequently practicing and attending sporting events outside. Protection 50 Sport SPF50 can be used for both face and body, making sunscreen protection easy for busy people on-the-go.
Protection 50 Sport SPF50