Table of Contents
The Importance of UV Protection
What are UV rays? Types and their effects
UV stands for ultraviolet and refers to the type of radiation that is emitted from the sun and other artificial sources. While some UV radiation is beneficial for . Overexposure can have harmful, long-term effects on the skin.
There are three different types of UV rays:
- UVA rays: UVA rays make up most of the UV that reaches the earth’s surface from the sun. This kind of radiation penetrates the deepest layer of the skin and is associated with premature aging, like wrinkles, eye damage and skin cancer.
- UVB rays: UVB rays are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer and so they primarily affect the skin's outer layers, which can result in sunburn and eventual skin cancer.
- UVC rays: UVC rays are mostly filtered by the ozone layer before they reach the earth. However, there are some areas where the ozone layer is thinner, such as Australia. In these areas, some UVC can reach the earth and become harmful for those whose skin is exposed.
How much UV radiation am I exposed to?
- Your location/ country
- The time of day
- The time of year
- Cloud cover
To be safe from UV rays, it’s important to know how exposed you are to the elements. If you live in a country closer to the equator, you’re at risk of more damage. Similarly, if you live at a high altitude or regularly go hill walking or hiking, you’re more at risk of exposing your skin to harmful rays. Take care to create a sun care routine that matches your day-to-day life and stay safe in the sun wherever you are.
How to protect your skin from UV rays
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen: A will protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays so it’s important to choose wisely. Apply it generously and regularly, especially if you’ll be swimming or sweating.
- Wear sun-protective clothing: Even in hot weather, it’s important to wear clothes that cover your skin from the elements, with long sleeves and leg coverings in breathable fabrics. You can also choose ratings to go the extra mile in blocking UV rays.
- Sunglasses: Protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Seek shade: Limit sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use trees, umbrellas, or pop-up tents to create shaded space.
- Regular skin checks: Conduct regular skin checks to monitor any changes, such as new moles or unusual spots. If you spot anything unusual, consult a dermatologist to get it checked out.