Sun Facts & Myths
There are 2 types of UV rays from the sun - UVA and UVB.
UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and tanning. Think “B” for burning.
UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and clothing. They are responsible for different types of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and, more seriously, melanoma.
UVA rays penetrate our skin much deeper than UVB rays and are responsible for causing premature ageing to the skin. Think “A” for ageing. UVA rays pass through the ozone layer, through clouds, through glass, through clothing and are found in sunbeds and tanning lamps.
Whilst you cannot get a suntan driving your car, you can be aged significantly by UVA rays as they come straight through the glass window!
Take a look at this lady whose office desk was at a window that exposed the left hand side of her face….
Ageing falls into 2 categories. Intrinsic ageing, caused by simply “getting old” and our genepool, and extrinsic ageing, caused by the sun, smoking and other free radical damage.
Did you know that 90% of our external ageing appearance is caused by extrinsic factors such as sun exposure?
By protecting your skin against UV rays you are not only reducing your risk of developing skin cancer, but also helping your skin to avoid premature ageing.
Bear in mind that because UVA rays pass through glass, you are being prematurely aged while driving your car and sitting indoors!
Many people believe that it is only necessary to wear an SPF whilst on holiday or during the summer. Don’t forget that it’s not only UVB light that you have to protect against, but UVA and these rays are present 365 days a year! They pass through clouds, so even on a cloudy January day you should wear an SPF of Factor 30 or above to protect your skin.
This lorry driver had one side of his face exposed in his driving window for many years….can you guess which side was exposed to the damaging UV rays?!
To protect your skin from this unnecessary damage, you must ensure that a broad-spectrum sunscreen is worn at all times, which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays that cause most of the ageing, penetrate much deeper than UVB rays.
Finally……there is very little that is “attractive” about sun damaged skin. A tan is simply the way your skin protects itself from the damage caused by the sun.
So whilst many people may think a tan is attractive and looks better than pale skin, a tan is simply a sign that your skin has set up it’s defence mechanism against the sun.
What is attractive about wrinkles, pigmentation patches and reptilian skin?! Stay safe in the sun.