A claim like “world’s best protection”
Dubbing 3rd Rock the Holy Grail of UVA protection was quite an endorsement, especially coming from an industry specialist of Joe Stanfield’s standing. After 40 years in the business, Joe made the comment once he’d seen the results of in vitro tests comparing 3rd Rock’s absorbance to those of two leading sunscreens (below).
As you can see, all three products start out high on the UV light absorbance axis at 290 nm, the low end of the UVB spectrum (290–320 nm). But while the other two brands begin breaking down almost immediately (click here for why), 3rd Rock absorbance continues unchanged across the UVB spectrum and well into the UVA range (320–400 nm). Then, instead of decreasing, from about 350 to 375 nm, absorbance actually increases.
Nonetheless, the crucial point is the consistency of that performance. 3rd Rock’s UV light absorbance—a.k.a. broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection—shows no decrease over the 290-375 nm wavelength range. And that’s something no other sunscreen has ever come close to.
3rd Rock’s “impossible” UVA/UVB ratio and 5-star
Assumptions about ratio limits went out the window as 3rd Rock’s 350-375 nm “performance surge” sent our UVA/UVB ratio soaring past 1, culminating in Joe Stanfield’s Holy Grail pronouncement. After all, no other sunscreen we know of can claim a ratio higher than .75.
Boots awards three stars (★★★) to sunscreens with UVA/UVB ratios from 0.61 to 0.8 and four stars (★★★★) to those between 0.81 and 0.9. Five stars (★★★★★), the highest rating, requires a UVA/UVB ratio greater than 0.91 and indicates performance closest to uniform UV protection.
3rd Rock offers the only 5-star UVA protection on today’s market.