It doesn't have to be full-blown summer to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. With the increased risk of skin cancer and the aging effects caused by sun damage – wrinkles, thinning skin, dark spots – it’s time we get some straight facts about the sun and tanning.
To understand why we need sunscreen, let’s identify what UVA and UVB rays are:
UVA, often called the “Aging Ray,” causes the most damage to our skin. The rays penetrate the dermis layer of the skin, which is 70% collagen. Think of collagen as the mortar between bricks. When that weakens, so go the bricks. When your collagen is damaged, your skin wrinkles and sags, losing its elasticity.
While UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, they are present during daylight hours throughout the year, rain or shine, cloudy or sunny. 80% of UVA pass through clouds. You don’t need a burn to damage your skin. The damage is gradual and cumulative, showing up later as thickened, aged skin.
UVA rays also penetrate through glass. Putting tinted UV-protective film on windows can block up to 99.9 percent of UV radiation. Without this protection in your car, you are being exposed to the sun’s damage.
UVB, often called the “Burning Ray,” is the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn and tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. UVB rays are a major cause of skin cancer. They can burn and damage the skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice. UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass. UVB rays are at their strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from April to October.
To protect yourself, you need a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Also wear clothing with SPF protection and a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. It’s never too late to start.
For additional help in protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, consider our Vitamin C Brightening Serum.Be safe,