AUG 13, 2018 3:34 PM PDT

What does sunscreen look like with a UV camera?

 

Have you ever wondered if there’s really a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? You’re not the only one. YouTuber Physics Girl set out with the guys behind YouTube channel How To Make Everything to figure out how various strengths of sunscreens differ – using a UV camera!

As we know, ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than other light that is visible to our eyes and it can ultimately do damage to our DNA and cells and even cause skin cancer. Which is why we use sunscreen in the first place – to make sure that those UV rays aren’t making their way into our bodies.

The hypothesis that Physics Girl starts out with is that the stronger SPF sunscreens should show up darker on her skin while looking through the UV camera. That’s because the UV camera makes things that are absorbing UV light look darker. The stronger the SPF, the more UV light absorbed into the sunscreen (and not into your body), the darker it appears in the camera. Do you think her hypothesis makes sense? Watch the video to find out the results!

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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