Sunburn is your skin's reaction to ultraviolet radiation or 'UV'. Step outside without any form of protection, and UV (both UVA and UVB) will immediately start to penetrate deep into the layers of your skin.
Most of the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles and blotches, are caused by exposure to the sun. All types of sunburn, whether serious or mild, can cause permanent and irreversible skin damage and repeated sun exposure may increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Sunbathing is not the only time when you need to be aware of the sun. You are most likely to get burnt when taking part in passive activities like walking outside, gardening or even eating lunch outdoors. By being aware of these facts and protecting your skin every day, you can avoid sunburn and lower your risk of skin cancer.
Your beauty routine should always include sun protection. Using sunscreen, wearing a hat and avoiding direct sun will help you to protect your skin and delay the visible signs of aging. The easiest, most inexpensive way to prevent skin aging is to use sunscreen. Wrinkles, sagging, and brown spots are created and worsened by the sun, so protecting yourself can have dramatic benefits. The best sunscreens protect against both UVB rays (ultraviolet radiation with wavelength between 290 and 320 nanometres), which can cause sunburn, and UVA rays (between 320 and 400 nanometres), which penetrate more deeply and cause skin to age with more long-term effects. Most sunscreens work by containing either an organic chemical
compound that absorbs ultraviolet light (such as oxybenzone
) or an opaque material that sits on top of the skin and reflects light (such as titanium dioxide
, zinc oxide
), or a combination of both. Typically, absorptive materials are referred to as chemical sunscreens, whereas opaque materials are mineral or physical sunscreens. Today, many modern sunscreens use micronized zinc and titanium oxide which do not leave such an obvious trace on the skin.UVA Rays (Aging Rays):
UVB Rays (Burning Rays):
- Can pass through glass (office & cars)
- Are not affected by weather or altitude
- Associated with the signs of premature aging, they penetrate deep into the skin layers and cause much damage to the skin's DNA, collagen and elastin
- Are present throughout the year, from sunrise to sunset, and even on cloudy days
- Are 20 times more abundant than UVB
- Skin cancer, sun spots and wrinkles are all a result of over exposure to UVA rays
For maximum effect, sunscreen should:
- Cause sunburn & tanning
- Vary with seasons (stronger in summer)
- SPF (sun protection factor) number shows the level of protection from UVB rays
- Responsible for erythema (redness and burning) which is a natural indication that your skin has received too much radiation.
Sun Damage and Its Effects
- Be applied at a quantity of at least 1¼ fluid oz for the whole body, per application.
- Be applied at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
- Be the last product applied to the skin because water-based products applied over sunscreens can break down the sunscreens' formulations.
- Be reapplied frequently—some say as soon as 30 minutes after initial sun exposure.
- Be reapplied after swimming, excessive sweating and toweling.
- Be used at a higher SPF when insect repellent is also used.
- Be applied very thickly on high exposure areas such as the forehead, cheekbones, bridge of nose, lower lip, top of ears, shoulders, outsides of arms and backs of hands.
- Be used daily, regardless of weather conditions.
- Not be the only defense against the sun—avoidance of excessive exposure to rays is key.