WHAT DO THE VARIOUS TERMS MEAN ?
SPF: Abbreviation for sun protection factor or for light protection factor. The sun protection factor indicates the degree of protection against the sun‘s UV rays. SPF determines how long the skin is protected, i.e. how long you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned.
UVA/UVB: Sun radiation is divided into ultraviolet light (UV), infrared radiation (IR) and visible light. UVA rays can penetrate into the dermis and promote extrinsic skin aging (photoaging). They can trigger light allergies and sunburns in high doses.
UVB rays, in contrast, penetrate into the upper skin,they are responsible for a thickening of the cornified skin (light callosity) and the development of a tan. UVB rays are mainly responsible for sunburns and can cause skin cancer.
Infrared rays (IR): Infrared rays make up the largest part of the sun spectrum, with 45% Its short-wave part, the infrared A (IR-A), penetrates very deep into the skin – much deeper than UVA/UVB radiation. There it attacks the mitochondria, the power plants of the cells. Consequently, damaging forms of oxygen (ROS) are formed that have the same effects as free radicals and for example reduce collagen, resulting in premature skin aging.