Warmer weather means we spend more time outdoors and enjoy activities in the sun. This also increases the risk of sun damage to the skin. It is vital that you protect your skin from the sun’s rays every day and not only when you are on holiday.
UVA and UVB – what is the difference?
There are two different types of ultraviolet rays. UVA rays penetrate through the skin’s surface and speeds up the ageing process. You may think that you are only exposed to UVA rays when you sit on the beach or play in the sun, but the truth is that you are exposed to these rays during your daily routine. Exposure happens, for instance, when you drive your car and your hands are exposed to the sun on the steering wheel, or when you are sitting at your desk in front of a window. Wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 every day to limit this type of exposure.
UVB rays penetrate the skin’s surface and are responsible for the tan on your skin. UVB rays stimulate the melanocyte cells in the skin to produce more melanin; this is the colour visible as a suntan, a freckle and age spots. Did you know that during the summer South Africa has one of the highest UV radiation levels in the world? Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from UV-radiation. Justine sun care protection products offers you and your family a range of products to protect your skin again harsh sun exposure.
Where you live and the time of day?
UV-radiation exposure is greater at higher altitudes. An increase in 1 000 metre altitude results in a 15% increase in UVB while the UVA remains more or less constant. This could mean that your risk for sun-induced skin damage increases if you live at a higher altitude. The time of day is also an important factor to consider before you go out in the sun. Staying in the shade will not protect you from the sun; you have to wear a sunscreen with a high SPF for maximum protection. The sun is at its harshest between 10:00 and 16:00 and remember that UV intensity depends on the angles of the rays and not only on the temperature and brightness of the sun.
How do sun-protection UV filters work?
UV filters help to stop ultraviolet light from reaching the skin. They either absorb UV light or reflect it away from the skin. There are two types of UV filters, chemical and physical.
Chemical UV filters absorb UV radiation and convert and release it into heat that radiates from the body. Physical UV filters reflect the UV radiation and are mainly used in sunscreens with a higher SPF usually above factor 25. Different UV filters are effective against different UV-light wavelengths. Broad-spectrum sun protection means that these filters provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.