Sun Aging from UVA and UVB

I've already talked about the horror of sun aging. Now it's time to understand which components of the sun's rays are our greatest enemy and what to look for when choosing sun and eye creams.

The sun contains infrared rays and ultraviolet rays. UV rays are mainly responsible for tanning, burning and skin damage and can be split into 3 groups - UVA, UVB and UVC.

UVC rays are the most dangerous but luckily very little of these reach the earth due to the ozone layer. It's the UVA and UVB you need to worry about! But what's the difference?

Both UVA and UVB both cause skin damage. UVB are the short burning rays which give us a sun-tan on a hot summer's day. Equally they are the rays which give us sun-burn! In the winter, when the sun's rays are less powerful, UVB rays are unlikely to cause serious sun-burn. Still, I do know somebody who got burned on Christmas Day watching the boats on the sea with the breeze blowing on his face!

sun, sunshine, sun danger

Photo courtesy of R.M.Smith

However, it is UVA that I particularly want you to consider when thinking about sun care. UVA is present in all sunlight, whether it's wintertime or summertime. UVA is considered the ageing ray and is at the same strength all year round. The winter sun may not be strong enough to burn you but it will carry on ageing you at the same rate.

I will never go out without my sun cream on, even for a brisk and chilly walk in winter and I only stop reapplying when the sun has definitely gone down. I haven’t always done this. I was in my mid twenties before I found any of this out.

It is now known that most of the skin damage that we carry with us as adults has been done by the time we are in our early twenties. You would think from this that starting my skin care regime would be a lost cause but I believe that you can help ‘stop the clock’ at any age.

I believe that the care I have taken in the sun because of this has paid off in a big way. Obviously I have no idea what I would have looked like had I not used sunscreen, but I will say that both my younger sisters have been saying for years that I look younger than them. And I do. Sorry girls!!!

I have spent years researching sun creams. In the 80’s, UVA wasn’t a consideration in sun care as most scientists deemed this a safe ray and exposure to it was a healthy way to look your best. We now know differently and it is important to apply a sun screen which contains both UVA and UVB screens.

So if you thought that you need to use sun cream only in the summer, think again! Remember the all year round aging ray, UVA!

Beauty secret: For great sun care, protect your skin all-year round. Beware of UVA in Winter!

Luckily for you, I've spent years finding the perfect products to reduce your exposure to the sun and hence your sun aging. You'll find all about the ideal sun cream protection and the perfect eye cream if you follow these links.

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