Broad spectrum means that the sunscreen has been tested to ensure it will provide sun protection against UVA & UVB rays. What is the difference between UVA and UVB? UVA rays can pass through window glass and penetrate deeper into your skin. UVA rays can cause local suppression of the immune system, which can interfere with your immune system’s ability to protect you against the development and spread of skin cancer. UVA rays also damage the deeper layers of your skin leading to signs of aging the skin as wrinkling and age spots. The UVB rays are burning rays, which are blocked by window glass, and are the primary cause of sunburn. So UVA rays are the aging rays and UVB are the burning rays. Excessive exposure to both forms of UV rays can lead to the development of skin cancer.
Two products with broad spectrum coverage are Anthelios and Elta M.D. McLean Dermatology & Skincare Center offers a full line of skincare products including sunscreens and daily moisturizers with SPF. You should wear SPF daily even on rainy or cloudy days! Even though many products are labeled as broad spectrum, not all products cover the ENTIRE UVA spectrum.