We all know by now that tanning (whether outside or using a tanning booth) is extremely damaging to our skin. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime and more than 90% of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. So, what is the difference between UVA and UVB rays and why is it so important to protect our skin against both?
In a nutshell, UVA rays are considered aging rays and UVB rays are burning rays. This means UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin damaging cells underneath the surface. If you ever wondered where hyper-pigmentation comes from, you can blame UVA’s. UVB rays damage cells near the surface so you can blame UVB’s for not being able to move after a day at the beach with no sunscreen.
Hopefully now you see why it is so important that we make an effort to protect not only our face and body, but our hair and scalp too! Look for products with an SPF 30 or higher that are broad spectrum. Search for hair and scalp sprays that you can lightly mist over the hair for protection. One of the best hair and scalp protectors is a hat made specifically to block out UVA and UVB rays (it will say it on the tag). Also, remind your children how important it is to always apply and reapply sunscreen when they’re at the beach, pool, or doing any outdoor activities. Teach them young!
Even though we know the sun is so damaging, why do we continue to bake in the sun anyway? A little sun is good for us because we need the Vitamin D that only the sun can provide but sitting in the sun for hours to get darker isn’t great. But we want a gorgeous tan! There are so many alternatives to sun tanning to get that beautiful bronze glow. Opt for self tanners or body bronzers to get the same effect.
So, with all of this in mind, make sure you stay safe this summer and protect your skin!