Skin is the body's largest external organ & also the most vulnerable to environmental harm. Whether you enjoy being outside or not, UV radiation can harm you everywhere (including indoors!).
Did you know even brief 15-minute exposure to the sun can harm your skin?
3 types of UV rays.
The sun is the primary source of UV radiation that an average person is exposed to. The UV radiation emitted by sunlight comprises a broad spectrum of photons. There are various ways that UV radiation can harm the skin.
Since UVA only affects the top layer of skin. Additionally, the inner cells are somewhat agitated, which results in quick tanning, sunburn, etc.
On the other hand, UVB results in significant sunburn, blistering, and delayed tanning. Different wavelengths of these impacts vary, with UVA and UVB being particularly concerned.
UVC rays are rarely a problem because the environment absorbs them. However, mercury lamps, arc welding torches, and UVC sanitizing lights can all expose you to UVC radiation.
UVA and UVB rays are the leading cause of skin worry, so let's look at them in more detail.
- UVA rays.
95% of the radiation that reaches the earth comes from UVA photons, which have longer wavelengths and lower energies than other UV radiation. They can, however, affect deeper layers of skin and indirectly harm DNA since they are more invasive than UVB rays.
They cause the skin to age more quickly or prematurely. Some skin cancers are linked to them as well.
95% of this energy reaches the planet because, unlike UVB rays, it is not absorbed by the ozone layer. If you stay out too long, this promotes immediate tanning and sunburn.
- UVB rays
Due to ozone layer filtration, UVB photons only make up 5% of all radiation. They harm the skin's outermost layers and directly destroy DNA since they have shorter wavelengths and higher energies. Most skin cancers are caused by UVB radiation. However, they can also induce wrinkles.
You can develop sunburn if exposed to too many UVB rays; the delayed effects or tanning show frequently. Windows do not allow UVB rays to pass through, and clouds are more likely to filter them.
The most important question of all is how to protect yourself.
Using sunscreen is one of the best ways to shield your skin from UV rays, but there are a few things to remember.
- Pick a sunscreen that delivers broad-spectrum protection at all times, which means it shields against UVA and UVB radiation.
- Any sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above will be suitable, although no sunscreen is 100% effective in shielding you from UV radiation.
- Use waterproof sunscreens when you swim or engage in any other water sport. Applying sunscreen every two to three hours is essential, especially if you are sweating, exercising, or swimming.
- Physical sunscreens with oxide and titanium dioxide are an excellent choice because they are both safe and efficient. You can also use a chemical sunscreen with a mineral base, which has a more aesthetically pleasing texture and appearance.