Protect your skin from the blazing summer sun!
+ There are many different types of rays present in sunlight. The rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are two basic types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface — UVA and UVB.
+ UV-“B” rays are the ones that “B”urn your skin. UVB rays also play the greatest role in causing skin cancers, including the dreaded skin cancer (malignant melanomas).
+ UVA rays also play a role in skin cancer. In addition, the UVA rays penetrate more deeply into the skin and play a greater role in premature skin aging changes including wrinkle formation (photoaging).
+ Over 97% of the sunlight that reaches your skin is “UV-A” (ultraviolet-A).
+ Sunblock versus sunscreen: As the name suggests, sunblock “blocks” the harmful rays of the sun – though most sun blocks on the market only protect against UV-B rays.
+ On the other hand, sunscreen typically works by absorbing the rays of the sun and scattering them in separate directions to reduce sun damage. They are typically more effective against UVA radiation.
+ Sunscreen avoids the “white chalky” appearance of sun block but tends to offer short-lasting protection.
+ What is SPF? SPF or sun protection factor is a measure of how much UVB radiation “gets through” the sunblock.
+ A little bit of math : 1 /SPF is the amount of UV getting through! That means SPF20 blocks 95% UVB rays, SPF50 blocks 98%, and SPF100 blocks 99% of UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a minimum SPF of 30.
+ The “UV Index” is a number between 0-15 given to areas in the US to rate the strength of UV rays. This is published by the National Weather Service:
+ A rating higher than 5 is considered “moderate to high” exposure and it typically takes under 30 minutes for sunburn to set in on such a day without protection.
+ BOTTOMLINE: Try to get a “broad spectrum” sunblock or sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB. Reapply frequently if you’re in the sun for long durations or sweating or getting wet! And for those extra sunny days, add a hat/umbrella (or other protective clothing) and avoid prolonged exposure. Remember to stay hydrated and enjoy the rest of the summer!