The difference between UVA/UVB Exposure?
Are you worried about UVA/UVB Exposure?
UVB: Also known as the “burning” rays, UVB rays penetrate the surface layers of the skin. The reaction causing our skin to tan and/or burn. Have you ever gotten sunburned on a cloudy day? UVB rays have the ability to make their way through those deceivingly protective clouds and right into your skin.
Let’s not forget their ability to “bounce and burn”. Remember that weekend you spent on the lake only to return home with one of the worst sunburns in your life! That was likely due to the fact that those UVB rays were hitting you twice! First delivered directly to you courtesy of the sun and then bouncing off the reflective surface of the lake right onto your skin – a double whammy!
UVA: UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are what we call the “aging” rays. Over time UVA exposure beaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin making it less firm and saggy! Since UVA rays can penetrate glass, there is no safety when sitting in your car. For those of us that pigment easily, have you ever noticed that the left side of your face appears to have more pigment (sun damage). That is likely caused while driving since the left side of your face is directly exposed to the window. Those of you that like to tan in a tanning bed be warned that you are likely getting hit with an even higher concentration of UVA than you would receive by the sun in the same time frame.
There is no such thing as a “safe” tan. Tanning is flat out damage to your skin and a defense mechanism used by your body to offer some protection from UVB/UVA rays. Once UV damage takes hold, the damaged cells have the ability to multiply which only exacerbates the aging process and could cause even greater damage like cancer.
Although UV exposure from the sun does have a few positive benefits like Vitamin D synthesis, relieving the symptoms of Psoriasis and perhaps giving us a little mental clarity and happiness, finding the correct balance is key.
We have all heard the recommendations: stay in the shade, wear a wide brimmed hat, cover-up, wear glasses, apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Sometimes circumstances or even vanity will prevent us from staying in the shade, covering up, wearing a hat or wearing glasses BUT there is no reason not to wear sunscreen.
Sunscreen formulations have come a long way. Gone are the heavy, sticky and greasy sunscreens! Manufacturers of medical grade sunscreens have really stepped up their game making sunscreens less of an annoyance and more of a necessity to consumers. If you haven’t experienced a good quality sunscreen, you are definitely missing out!