Do you know the difference between basic SPF sunscreen and broad-spectrum protection?

Hampden County

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With Saturday and Sunday’s hot temperatures, many of you might be enjoying some fun in the sun.

The basic sunscreen with SPF is probably what people think of bringing when going to the beach, but what about ‘broad spectrum’ protection sunscreen?

SPF stands for sun protection factor, a measure of how well sunscreen protects against UVB rays. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both types of UV light: UVA and UVB.

UVB rays are the main cause of reddening and sunburn and therefore the most damaging to skin where skin cancer occurs. However, regardless of the type of sunscreen you choose, when the UV index is very high like Saturday, you also need to take breaks from the sun and find shade, and wear sunglasses as white sand and other surfaces can reflect UV rays onto you.

UVA rays deeply penetrate your skin, and can prematurely age your skin causing wrinkling and age spots while UVB can burn your skin. Experts recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

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