The Effect of Application Method and Sunscreen Type on the Intensity of UVA and UVB Light

This research was meant to find the effect that application method and sunscreen type had on the intensity of UVA and UVB light. Sunscreen is a person’s main defense against harmful UV light, which is why it is important to find out what makes a strong, consistently protective sunscreen. There is little research into which application method of sunscreen offers the most protection. The type of sunscreen, either chemical or physical, has been tested many times previously through the use of a spectrophotometer to determine which offers the most protection.

This experiment was conducted using both a UVA and UVB sensor, depending on which DOE was being performed. The experiment was carried out by either spreading lotion or spraying sunscreen onto the plastic wrap covering a hole cut into a notecard. This notecard was then placed over a full-spectrum light, underneath either a UVA or UVB sensor. For chemical trials, 20-minutes were allowed to pass in order for the sunscreen to become fully effective. After applying the sunscreen, the trial would take place and the mean UVA or UVB intensity of the trial would be recorded for that trial. Two two-factor DOE’s were run and there were a total of 140 trials completed.

After the data was collected, a statistical analysis was completed in order to determine if either factor had an effect on the UVA or UVB intensity that passed through the sunscreen. The analysis compared the data from the experiment to the data from the standard trials and found that no factors had a significant effect in either of the DOE’s performed nor was the interaction significant in either of the DOE’s preformed.

Research Conducted By:

Andrew DeSantis
Lakeview High School

Alissa Hazlett
Lake Shore High School