Getting To Know Your UV-Alphabet

You already know using sunscreen when spending hot summer days at the beach is a must, but what about when you step outside to enjoy a cool, overcast day? Or when you’re sitting in traffic, driving to work? Although it may seem like you only need protection when directly under the sun and at risk of burning, there are other ways the sun and its rays can cause damage to you and your skin – whether it’s bright out or not!

Sun damage can range from unwanted dark spots to wrinkles, even to skin cancer. Sun damage goes deep, can last long, and is not limited to the summer months in the sun. Damage from the sun reaches us through UVA and UVB rays – two different types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth, on sunny and not-so-sunny days alike.

But what is the difference between UVA and UVB? It’s actually really easy to remember: A is for Aging, B is for Burning.

But what is the difference between UVA and UVB? It’s actually really easy to remember: A is for Aging, B is for Burning.

UV-Aging

UVA rays are the rays responsible for leaving us with premature signs of aging. These powerful rays are deeply penetrative and they’re not discouraged by clouds or windows and go deep into your skin! Think it’s too cloudy for sun damage? Think again!

UV-Aging

UVA rays are the rays responsible for leaving us with premature signs of aging. These powerful rays are deeply penetrative and they’re not discouraged by clouds or windows and go deep into your skin! Think it’s too cloudy for sun damage? Think again!

UV-Burning

Most people are more familiar with UVB rays – those responsible for sunburn. Luckily, these rays are not strong enough to pass through glass, but any day spent outside leaves you vulnerable to their painful and damaging effects.

UV-Burning

Most people are more familiar with UVB rays – those responsible for sunburn. Luckily, these rays are not strong enough to pass through glass, but any day spent outside leaves you vulnerable to their painful and damaging effects.

Protect Against UV-Aging & UV-Burning

You probably pay attention to SPF when shopping for sunscreen – which is a great start – but there’s another phrase you should be looking for: “broad spectrum.” While sunscreen with high SPF can keep you protected against the burning effects of UVB rays, you cannot be sure that it will fight UVA rays. Sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” protects against both UVA and UVB rays, keeping you safe from the burning and the aging part of sun damage!

Knowing the difference between UVA and UVB and their respective effects gives you the ability to safely protect against them both. Not only can you now put a name to the face of your sun damage, you can also use your new knowledge of the UV-Alphabet to avoid these effects and keep your skin looking radiant!

Make sure to look for sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” and SPF 30 and over to keep you protected from both UVA and UVB rays and only soak up the best parts of every day.

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