How SPF works in Natural Sunscreens vs Chemical Sunscreens

In: Grahams Blog On: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

12th October 2016


Today on the Grahams Natural blog I would like to talk about one of the many questions we receive regarding sunscreen protection. People are becoming more aware of that applying chemicals to their skin can affect them worse than the benefits that they are getting out of the product. However, I feel most people don’t know the facts about SPF protection and I wanted to share how it really works! Firstly, here is a question we received the other day and it is one of the most common questions we get asked about our sunscreen.

“Your SunClear is only 30+ SPF protection? Why would I buy that when I can get a 100 SPF Sunscreen that provides triple the protection?”

Makes sense, right? From a logical point of view, 100 SPF has more than 3 times (3x) the protection of an SPF 30+! However, this is not the case and can be easily explained through the graph below.

SPF Graph

As you can see this graph shows the SPF (bottom) vs the percentage of UVB Rays that is protected (left). As you can see the 99 SPF sunscreen is protecting 99% of the UVB rays vs a 30+ SPF which protects 95% of the rays. Now obviously 99% protection is better than 95%, but you have to consider other factors of the sunscreen and look past the marketing scheme.

Now that you know how it works, it is really just up to you decide when choosing your sunscreen and to weigh up whether you go with an all-natural 30+ sunscreen that is 2 hour water resistant with 95% sun protection for those full 2 hours, or a chemically based cheap with 100+ SPF that is probably doing more harm than good.

Here is also another great blog on the difference between biodegradable sunscreens!