Have you heard of this 'secret' code on your sun cream bottle that is protecting your skin?

Summer is here (or just about) which means we need to be layering up on our Sun Protection Factor (SPF) more than ever.

Many of us - understandably - choose our sun protection based on what the best deals are on the shelves that day.

Often overshadowed by the best-value bottles or the familiar SPF rating, Badge Clinic has revealed the importance of checking the level of UVA protection and the star rating on the back of the bottle. 

The Comet: Here's what the UVA protection star rating on suncream bottles mean. ( Getty Images)Here's what the UVA protection star rating on suncream bottles mean. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

What is the UVA protection star rating on sun cream bottles?

Burak Ersoy, Founder of Badge Clinic has explained that the star rating is an 'essential component since it focuses specifically on UVA protection.

Mr Ersoy commented: "UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and are responsible for long-term damage, such as premature ageing and skin cancer.

"Understanding the star rating empowers consumers to make informed choices and select sun creams that provide adequate UVA protection for their specific needs".

The star rating ranges from one to five stars, with five indicating the highest level of UVA protection.

The system is designed to complement the widely recognised SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and emphasises the importance of comprehensive sun protection.

Mr Ersoy continued: "As the summer season reaches its peak, this newfound knowledge couldn't come at a better time.

"I encourage consumers to flip their sun cream bottles and take note of the star rating, which should enable them to make more informed decisions about their sun protection regimen.

"By prioritising both SPF and the star rating, individuals can ensure comprehensive protection against both UVB and UVA rays, shielding their skin from the detrimental effects of sun exposure.”

The Comet: Chemical filters, antioxidants and physical blockers are among the aspects you need to consider when buying sun cream. ( Getty Images)Chemical filters, antioxidants and physical blockers are among the aspects you need to consider when buying sun cream. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

What you should consider when buying your sun cream

The founder of Badge Clinic also identified five things we need to consider when picking up our next bottle of sun cream.

  • Physical Blockers

Look for physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients form a protective barrier on the skin's surface, reflecting and scattering UV rays.

  • Chemical Filters

Chemical filters such as avobenzone, octinoxate, or oxybenzone help to absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat. These ingredients work by interacting with the skin to provide sun protection.

  • Antioxidants

Some sun creams contain antioxidants like vitamin E, green tea extract, or niacinamide. These ingredients help neutralise harmful free radicals generated by UV exposure, reducing skin damage.

  • Skin Soothing Ingredients

Look for ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, or cucumber extract, which can help soothe and moisturise the skin, counteracting the potential drying effects of some sun creams.

  • Fragrance-Free or Hypoallergenic Options

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, consider choosing fragrance-free or hypoallergenic sun creams to minimise the risk of irritation.

He has also explained why wearing sun cream is so important and the other things that we need to be looking out for.

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Mr Ersoy said: “It's crucial to choose a broad-spectrum sun cream with an appropriate SPF level for your skin type.

"Regular application, especially when spending time outdoors, can significantly reduce the risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and premature ageing.

"If you want to ensure you have the best sun cream, look out for the following ingredients."