Have you ever heard of the term “Sunshine Smile”, “Glows brighter than sunshine”? Well that’s because sun and sunrays are deemed to be the brightest, most beautiful, life-giving energy on this planet. A little bit of sunshine can shoot away depression, not to mention that we need sunrays to produces Vitamin D!
On the other end of spectrum is sun damage, sun burn, premature ageing of skin and skin cancer! These effects have been more pronounced in the recent years after many researches confirmed the direct relation between skin damage and sun exposure levels.
So to enjoy the sunshine in your life and get the benefits you need to protect yourself from the damaging effects of sun rays. To be exact, you have to protect yourself from the Ultra Violet Rays emerging from the sun.
Thanks to Ozone layer in our atmosphere only 3-4% of the total emitted Ultra Violet rays reach the earth from the sun. A large part of this fraction coming to earth is near-ultraviolet but can still cause the same effects as the Ultra-violet rays.
The Ultra Violet Rays emitted from the sun are of two types: UVA and UVB.
UVA (Ultra Violet A Rays) – UVA rays have a long wavelength and are said to do the most damage to the skin. These are responsible for premature ageing of skin and skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate the skin and activate the underlying skin cells that cause the appearance of wrinkles.
These rays are also the catalyst behind skin cancer. The effects are visible in the long-term and can take upto two decades to show the damage.
UVB (Ultra Violet B Rays) – UVB rays have a short wavelength and are said to be the cause of sun burns and tanning. The damage done by UVB rays is visible immediately. Skin can get tanned/burned within a few hours of direct exposure.
One of the main things you can do to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays is to limit your time outdoors during peak hours – roughly from 11am to 3 pm. The sun rays are the most potent and damaging during these hours. The second thing is to wear a sunscreen!
I will be discussing more about Sunscreen and the types of sunscreens in my upcoming post. Hope you found this information helpful.