The ABCs of UV Rays 1

 UVA UVB

We have all heard about the many dangers of the sun’s rays, along with a few benefits (hello Vitamin D!)… but do you know the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Here’s the low down.

UVA rays are always present during daytime hours, even on a cloudy day. They have the ability to penetrate more deeply than UVB rays. Have you ever gotten a suntan through your car window? You can thank UVA rays for that.

The problem with UVA rays is that we can’t always see or feel them. This gives us a false sense of security. Anyone who has gotten the dreaded ski goggle tan knows that looks can be deceiving. It may be cold and cloudy out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use sun protection.

UVA rays damage cells deep beneath the surface of your skin. You may not always notice this damage right away; unfortunately, it may become more evident later on in life in the form of sunspots and wrinkles.

UVB rays are not as prevalent as UVA rays; however, they are quite powerful. These rays are more dominant during the summer months when the sun is shining. They are strongest at mid day, making it extra important to protect your skin during this time.

Sunscreens were originally formulated to protect against UVB rays, as these were originally thought to be the most damaging. Now in days most sunscreens are formulated to protect against both UVA an UVB rays. Just check the label for “UVA/UVB” or “broad spectrum” that way you know you are covered (literally). We love Skin Medica’s Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+. It is sheer, oil free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic [<– this means it won’t clog your pores]! This product is perfect for everyday use and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

For more information on the sun’s rays, potential sun damage, and sun safety please check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website.