What Is Broad Spectrum Sunscreen?


Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it's also important to protect your skin from the sun's rays. 

That's where broad-spectrum sunscreen comes in, as it can protect you from both UVA and UVB radiation, which can cause skin cancer and other serious health problems.

Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about broad-spectrum sunscreen, including how it works, its benefits, and how to choose the best product for your needs. We'll also share some of our favorite broad-spectrum sunscreens on the market today.

What is broad-spectrum sunscreen?

Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a type of sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. As the sun emits electromagnetic radiation across a spectrum of wavelengths; UVA and UVB rays are the two most harmful types to human skin.

  • UVA rays make up about 95% of the sun's electromagnetic radiation reaching Earth's surface. These rays are longer in wavelength than UVB rays and can penetrate deep into the skin, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
  • UVB rays make up about five percent of the sun's electromagnetic radiation reaching Earth's surface. These shorter wavelength rays are what cause sunburns on the skin.

Originally, sunscreens were only designed to protect against UVB rays. However, we now know that both UVA and UVB rays can be harmful to human skin. That's why it's important to choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection.

How does broad-spectrum sunscreen work?

Broad-spectrum sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun's harmful rays before they can penetrate the skin. Some sunscreens use chemical ingredients to absorb the sun's rays, while others use physical ingredients to reflect and scatter the sunlight away from the skin.

  • Chemical sunscreens typically use Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octisalate, Octinoxate, and Homosalate as their active ingredients. These ingredients work by absorbing the sun's ultraviolet radiation and converting it into heat, which is then released from the skin.  However, some of these ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream, which raises concerns about their safety.
  • Physical sunscreens typically use Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. These ingredients work by reflecting and scattering the sunlight away from the skin and provide long-lasting, waterproof protection.   However, they can sometimes leave a white cast on the skin. Physical sunscreens are beneficial for people with sensitive skin as they are less likely to irritate.

What are the benefits of broad-spectrum sunscreen?

There are many benefits associated with using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, including:

  • Protection from UVA and UVB rays: Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin cancer and other serious health problems.
  • Reduced risk of skin cancer: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, regular use of sunscreen can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by up to 50%.
  • Prevention of premature aging: Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause premature skin aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Many sunscreens contain hydrating ingredients and anti-inflammatory ingredients that can help to reduce the appearance of premature aging.
  • Protection for all skin types: Broad-spectrum sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, choose a sunscreen labeled "non-comedogenic" or "oil-free" to avoid triggering any skin reactions.
  • Keeps complexion Even: Sunscreen helps protect the skin from sun damage, which can cause dark spots and uneven skin tone. As a result, sunscreen can help to keep your complexion looking even and radiant.

Now that we've discussed what broad-spectrum sunscreen is and how it works let's talk about some tips for choosing the right product for you!

How to find the best broad-spectrum sunscreen for your needs?

When choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, it's important to consider the following factors:

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher

The SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun's UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for the best protection. A higher SPF rating means that the sunscreen will provide better protection from the sun.

Also check the label to make sure the sunscreen is labeled "broad-spectrum," which means it will also protect your skin from the sun's UVA rays.

Make sure the sunscreen is water-resistant

If you're planning on being in the water or sweating, it's important to choose a water-resistant sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens can protect the skin for up to 80 minutes before a reapplication is necessary.

Consider the active ingredients

You should look for a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these are the best ingredients for protecting your skin from the sun. 

And avoid sunscreens that contain chemical ingredients, like parabens, oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances, and other harmful chemicals, as they can be harmful to your health.

Choose a sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type

If you have sensitive skin, it's important to choose a fragrance-free sunscreen. Fragrance-free sunscreens won't irritate the skin and are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

And if you have oily skin, you may want to consider a gel or spray sunscreen, as they can help to control shine. For dry skin, choose a sunscreen containing hydrating ingredients like glycerin or aloe vera to help moisturize the skin.

Consider the type of sunscreen

There are two main types of sunscreen: physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are generally considered to be safer and more effective than chemical sunscreens, as they don't contain any harmful chemicals. 

Both offer broad-spectrum protection, but some people prefer one type over the other.

You should also consider the form of sunscreen. Sunscreens come in a variety of forms, including creams, lotions sprays, and sticks. Choose the form of sunscreen that is most convenient for you to use.

Make sure the brand is reputable

It's important to choose a sunscreen from a reputable brand that has a good track record. You can read reviews online to see what other people have said about the sunscreen before you make a purchase.

When it comes to sunscreens, Australian Gold offers a variety of high-quality options that meet all of the above criteria. Whether you're looking for a plant-based sunscreen, a mineral sunscreen, or a chemical sunscreen, Australian Gold has an option that will work for you.

Find a sunscreen that's affordable and easy to find in stores

Sunscreens can range in price from $5 to $100. However, you don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get a good sunscreen. Many affordable and easy-to-find sunscreens offer broad-spectrum protection.

Now that you know what to look for in a sunscreen, here are some of the best broad-spectrum sunscreens from Australian Gold that we recommend:

The best Broad-Spectrum sunscreens: our top picks

Botanical SPF 50 Natural Spray Sunscreen

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Natural Spray Sunscreen is a new, more natural way to protect your skin from the sun. Made with zinc and titanium oxide, it provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. 

It's also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, ideal for swimming or sweating. And because it's a spray, it's easy to apply, even to hard-to-reach places like your back.

This sunscreen is free of chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can be harmful to the environment. It's also reef-friendly, so you can feel good about using it while enjoying the water.

Why we love it:

  • A natural, more gentle way to protect your skin.
  • Citrus Oasis scent for a refreshing, summery smell.
  • Spray application makes it easy to apply evenly.
  • Oil-free, PABA-free, and gluten-free.
  • Dermatologically tested.
  • Affordable at just $16.99 for 6 ounces.

Plant-Based SPF 70 Lotion

The Australian Gold Plant-Based SPF 70 Lotion is a great choice for those who are looking for an all-natural and vegan-friendly sunscreen. This lotion uses Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil to help hydrate and protect your skin from the sun. Our Plant-Based SPF 70 Lotion has also been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Simply apply the lotion evenly to all exposed skin before going outside and reapply as needed, especially after swimming or sweating.

Why we love it:

  • Guards against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Protects against 97% of the sun's harmful rays.
  • It is designed to be Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.
  • Leaves skin with a natural, healthy-looking glow.
  • Reasonably priced at just $14.99 for a 6-ounce bottle.

Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion

Our Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face is a lightweight, hydrating sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection with a touch of mineral color that perfects your complexion. 

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work together to defend against the sun's harmful rays, while botanical ingredients like Kakadu Plum, Eucalyptus, and Red Algae help soothe and nourish the skin. 

The result is a natural-looking, healthy glow that provides just enough coverage to even out your skin tone.

Why we love it:

  • Suitable for all skin types, this sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  • It's also non-greasy, non-pore clogging, and provides light coverage that evens out skin tone.
  • A fragrance-free formula that's also safe for sensitive skin.
  • This sunscreen is perfect for everyday use.
  • The product is available in three different shades: light, medium, and dark.
  • A 3 oz bottle retails for less than $16.

Soak up the rays and look fabulous with Australian Gold!

Now that you know all about broad-spectrum sunscreens, it's time to find the perfect one for you. 

Australian Gold is excited to offer a variety of broad-spectrum sunscreens perfect for any need this summer. Whether you need general protection, something special for your kids or baby, sunless tanning options, or just want to stock up on your favorite sunscreen, we have you covered.

Head over to our online store and find the perfect sunscreen for your next outdoor adventure!