Updated: Jul 12
SPF is a magical lotion or powder that helps protect the skin from harmful sun rays. It's mostly used in the summertime but should actually be used all year around!
If there isn't any sun in the winter, then why do I still need it?
Wherever there is natural light, there is skin damaging light. Overcast is a great example of this!
The sun has 3 types of UltraViolet Radiation, UVA, UVB, and UVC. Broad spectrum SPF can help protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays. UVC is a sun ray that luckily does not reach the earth's surface because the ozone layer blocks it from entering earth's atmosphere. You can still be exposed to artificial UVC radiation by laser or lamp. This type of artificial source can cause severe acute damage to the eyes. Thats why its important to wear glasses during a laser treatment!
What is UVA Ray?
UVB stands for Ultraviolet A radiation or in simpler terms, UV Aging rays. This sun ray goes deeper into the skin where tanning takes place. UVA causes the skin to prematurely age and create wrinkles. Because this is a form of radiation, it actually damages the skin's DNA making it more of a risk for skin cancer.
What is UVB Ray?
UVB stands for Ultraviolet B radiation or in simpler terms, UV Burning rays. This type of sun ray is the most dangerous. It is one of the biggest causes of skin cancer, including the deadly black mole. Because this is a form of radiation it actually damages the skin's DNA making it more of a risk for skin cancer.
Below you will see where UVA and UVB target the skin! UVB hits the top layers of skin while UVA hits the deeper layer, the dermis.
I'm a little scared, what do I do?
Well the sun will always be here, so it's just important to wear a Broad-Spectrum SPF and continually check your skin for any new moles, or overall changes. After every burn or tan, check to see if you acquired more moles or pigment and just keep an eye out on them.
What type of SPF do I use?
Broad-Spectrum is gonna be your best friend! It protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You can take a peek at Dr.Bhogal’s blog post on types of SPF to know a little more in depth on what will suit your skin best!
Thanks for reading and stay cool this summer :D
Master Esthetician ~Grace Braddock