Beiersdorf-owned Nivea, has announced the launch date of its innovative SPF foaming mousse for April this year. Likewise German company Artdeco has launched a line of SPF make-up - Bronzing Highlights 2004 - to be made available across Europe.
SPF is the numerical rating displayed on skincare products to measure the products protection from harmful ultra violet (UV) radiation from sunlight.
Solar rays are responsible for chemical reactions in the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. Fifteen per cent of harmful UVB rays reach the basal layer of the epidermis and more than 20 per cent of UVA rays penetrate as far deep as the dermis layer.
In the event of repeated exposure to the sun and UVA rays, the number of fibroblasts in the skin diminish. Cells become atrophied, meaning that they gradually lose their capacity to produce collagen at the same time as their ability to digest it increases.
UV and especially UVA rays cause changes to the skin - clinically characterised as wrinkles, roughness, a lack of elasticity, depigmentation and benign or malignant tumours.
Other effects are invisible and delayed in time, such as reduced immune defences, carcinogenic effects and photo-ageing.
SPF 15 is generally considered to be adequate for temperate zones however a higher protection factor such as SPF 30 gives better protection in zones where the sun is stronger. Artdeco's new make-up range is available with SPF12 and SPF15.