July is known as National Ultraviolet Safety awareness month. During this time, the mission is to spread awareness about how important it is to protect our eyes and skin from the side effects of UV rays.
Ultraviolet (UV) are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the skin and cause different types of skin cancer.
I’ll be sharing with you 4 types of UV rays you are likely to be exposed to and their side effects. It’s always important to stay safe when you are in the sun.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF UV RAYS (ULTRAVIOLET RAYS)
(Type A Ultraviolet) This is the “Aging rays)
UVA radiation makes up 95% of all the UV rays that make it to the Earth’s surface. What UVA does is, it penetrates deep into the skin and can even pass through glass in your home or office. UVA can cause damages to your skin, resulting in a tan. It is the primary radiation used in tanning beds. It causes almost all forms of skin aging, fine lines and wrinkles.
- Weakens collagen
- Causes winkling of the skin and sagging
- Appear year-round
(Type B Ultraviolet) This is the burning rays
They are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. UVB radiation causes sunburn, darkening and thickening of the outer layer of the skin, and melanoma and other types of skin cancer, furthermore, also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system.
- Encourages vitamin D synthesis
- Causes the skin to age faster
- Can cause damage to the eyes
(The type C ultraviolet rays) The uncommon one
UVC radiation is the highest energy portion of the UV radiation spectrum.
UVC radiation from the sun does not reach the earth’s surface because it is blocked by the ozone layer in the atmosphere. Thus, the only way that humans can be exposed to UVC radiation is from an artificial source such as, older tanning beds, lasers, mercury lamps, welding torches.
- Highest energy
- completely absorbed by the ozone layer
- The only way one can be absorbed in it is through artificial radiation as mentioned above
High Energy Visible Light (HEVIS Light) is all around us. It’s part of the light we can see. It’s been around for as long as UV rays, but while much has been written about their effect on skin, the molecular and visible effect of HEV Light on skin is a more recent discovery.
Research proves that this light influences skin condition and can cause skin to photoage (age prematurely as a result of sun exposure.
- Breaks collagen
- High-energy visible light
- Penetrate deeper than UV rays
- Known to worsen pigmentation issues
Sunlight can be good for us – it’s an important source of Vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones and it boosts our levels of serotonin, lifting our mood. But too much sun can damage skin.Carly J. Quaye
Most importantly: remember that the sun’s rays affect your skin even when the weather is cloudy. Sun care should not be restricted to those days when the sun is at its hottest, but should form part of your daily skincare routine.
Many modern sunscreens and sunblock products offer effective protection against UVA and UVB rays, but the chemicals and pigments used to filter UVA and UVB do not filter the blue light rays.
For this reason, look out for products that contain antioxidants that work against oxidative stress. When choosing appropriate sun care products, the priority is still to give your skin the very best protection against UVA and UVB rays, but choosing products that also combat the oxidative stress caused also by blue Light rays will further help to prevent photoaging and reduce instances of hyperpigmentation.
CHECK OUT other information on UV light and how to protect yourself from it.
DO THIS FOR EXTRA PROTECTION
A list of must-haves to keep your skin well-protected in order to survive the heat!
*** Remember wearing SPF is always the first step in addition to the other methods.
- Use face and body SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Comes in the form of lotions, creams, spray and powders
- Hat to protect your face and neck from the sun’s hash UV light
- Use SPF lip balm on your lips
- Use Umbrella more often when walking in the sun.