The Ultra-VIOLENT Truth Behind UVA/UVB Rays



Roses are red

Your skin will be too.

If you don’t apply sunscreen

All the day through!


Who is ready for SPRING BREAK? Shoot, I guess it’s only February…but it’ll be here before we know it! If you’re as excited as I am – you’ve probably started picking out outfits, buying new swim suits, and creating a list of all the items you want to take along on your trip. Well, here is a friendly reminder to purchase and pack PLENTY of sunscreen. No matter your shape, size or color – everyone should be wearing and reapplying sunscreen.

Last vacation, I noticed folks applying sunscreen upon arrival to the beach. What’s wrong with this picture? They should of applied it at least 30 minutes ago! YES. This IS and has been a Golden Rule for decades now! To be effective, product needs time to soak into your skin. Even then…how safe are you?

The Basics

As we all know there are only two types of light. Unfortunately, both are harmful. But what exactly is the difference between UVA and UVB rays is regards to sun exposure?

The light from UVB rays cause that oh-so painful sunburn when its energy damages the top/protective layer of skin. YES, it actually kills the top layer of skin cells. As the cells die, the layers peel off and result in that tender, red, peeling skin. Congratulations. Depending on how close you live to the equator, what season it is, and the time of day will vary on when your skin is at risk of UVB light. SO, for example, if you’re planning on being outside from 12:00 to 2:00PM in July – take caution, use sunscreen, seek shade, be pale.

More great news: UVA rays could be even more responsible for signs of aging, sunburns, and cancer. We experience them everyday, all year round! (Unless you live in Alaska, in which you experience months of solid moonlight) UVA rays are thought to reach the deeper layers of our skin, as opposed to UVB. If you can see the rays, they can see you. Consider this while you’re sitting next to your window or stuck in your car because traffic.

The Science

According to an article written on Scientific America, “The energy from ultraviolet radiation can damage molecules in the skin, most importantly DNA. One consequence of this is the synthesis of different proteins and enzymes. The effects of these proteins, notably prostaglandins and cytokines, lead to dilation of the cutaneous blood vessels and recruitment of inflammatory cells. This, in turn, produces a sun burn’s characteristic redness, swelling and pain. Once the signal of excessive radiation exposure is initiated, it generally takes four to six hours for these proteins to generate. Sunburn symptoms thus don’t appear until well after exposure. (DNA damage can also result in the destruction of the involved skin cell. This is one of the reasons why skin peels after a bad sunburn.)“

YIKES! Looking back, did I really have THAT much fun laying out in the sweltering sun all Summer long?

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