The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) refers to the increased time it takes you to get sunburnt.

It's necessary to reapply sunscreen every two hours, because water, sweat and contact with a towel or clothing remove the coating on your skin.

The highest claimable SPF rating in Australia is 50+ which means it can block 98% of the sun's rays. A sunscreen with SPF 30+ will block 96.7%. Either one will provide protection if applied properly and if you're only going to be in the sun for a short period. Neither is as effective as a UPF 50+ rash top.


The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is for clothing.  A shirt with a UPF of 20 allows only one twentieth of the UVR through to your skin. UPF ratings go up to 50, and a fabric with a rating higher than 50 is labelled as UPF 50+.

Different fabrics have different UVR-absorbing properties: generally, the thicker the fabric, the tighter the weave and the darker the colour, the more UVR that is blocked.

Suncheeters are made from UPF50+ material, offering the maximum sun protection.

October 20, 2021 — Terry Dear

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