We’re all fully aware that protecting ourselves from the suns’ rays is important to prevent skin cancer and other damaging skin conditions. But, let’s dig deeper into how it affects us and what to do about it.
There are 2 types of sun rays:
- UVA Rays – are linked to long term skin damage such as the formation of wrinkles
- UVB Rays – are responsible for sunburn and most skin cancers
Long term exposure to UVA rays causes premature aging and loss of collagen and skin elasticity. You can combat this by simply adding an SPF to your skin care routine. UVB rays damage the outermost layer of the skin but can be partially absorbed by the ozone layer. Some still get through and they are what cause sunburn.
To combat long term skin damage, wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily…even in the winter or when it’s cloudy. On cloudy days, up to 80% of the suns radiation reaches earth which can unfortunately, still result in skin damage. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours (don’t miss your neck and ears) or every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
Even if you have a darker skin tone, your melanin needs protection from both UVA & UVB rays in order to prevent hyperpigmentation and maintain healthy skin. However, if you are a person of color be sure to research the best type of sunscreen for your skin. We don’t want anything that will leave a ‘white cast’. Look for a sunscreen that will disappear seamlessly into skin.
For extra protection, wear sunglasses that have 99% - 100% UV protection, wear dark colored clothing and limit your time in the sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
The takeaway for healthy skin:
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily, even in the winter or when it’s cloudy
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or every hour if swimming or sweating
- Wear darker colored clothes to prevent sun penetrating to skin
- Wear sunglasses
- Choose a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that protects against UVA & UVB rays
Your skin will thank you!