Effects Of UVA And UVB Rays
UVA rays, also known as aging rays, do what their name suggests: age your skin! The characteristics of ageing skin include fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and dryness, and skin appears less supple and more thin and ‘’leathery”. Ageing skin also loses volume and elasticity, which results in sagging skin in addition to a variety of other undesirable symptoms. A common misconception that people have about sun rays is that if you are indoors, you are protected from UV rays. That analogy is far from the truth. In fact, UVA rays can penetrate through glass windows and doors, so if you have a home or office with windows (as in most cases), then you are exposed to UVA rays on a daily basis. Driving is also another common way that people get UVA exposure without realizing the effects that it can have on their skin over the course of many years.
UVB rays, also known as burning rays, can also prematurely age your skin. The main characteristic of UVB rays is its ability to literally burn the exposed skin. Sunburns happen to the best of us, and those who have experienced them know very well that they are quite uncomfortable and sometimes very painful. The good news is that UVB rays can be blocked by glass in windows and doors.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best way to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Specialists recommend an SPF of 15 or more for daily protection and a SPF of 50 or more for those who undergo facial treatments that can make the skin more susceptible to harm from the UV radiation. Facial treatments typically strip the top layers of the skin, so it is essential to wear a high SPF to avoid sun damage that can occur to the newly exposed skin, resulting in even more damage to the delicate, fresh new skin. The skin on the face is damaged more easily than the body because it is an area of the body that is almost never covered by any protective clothing.
The purpose of SPF is to slow the down the rate of possible sun damage to the skin. For example, skin protected with an SPF of 15 takes 15 times longer to burn than skin with no protection. Sunscreen acts like a barrier that eventually loses its protective abilities over the course of a few hours, so it is often recommended to reapply every 4 to 5 hours if you are outdoors. Activities that cause body to perspire, like sports, exercise, and vacation tanning, may reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen much quicker. In these cases, you may need to reapply sunscreen sooner than every few hours or you may require waterproof sunscreen for longer-lasting protection. In general, the higher the SPF, the better it is at protecting the skin. Some sunscreens only contain UVA or UVB protection. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are the best form of sun protection because it provides adequate protection for both harmful UV sunrays.