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By Chelsea Snyder, R-PAC
October 11, 2015
Category: Sun Protection

As tank tops and shorts are being replaced by sweaters and scarves, many think that it’s appropriate to skip the sunscreen; however, this could not be farther from the truth. Just because the temperature is dropping, it does not mean that you should avoid protecting yourself from the sun’s potentially harmful rays. 

It has been found that both UVA and UVB rays are emitted from the sun and these rays ultimately have devastating effects to our skin. UVA rays make up a majority of the suns overall rays and are estimated to be 30-50 times more prevalent than UVB rays. UVA rays are known to cause the classic skin aging and associated wrinkling that we commonly see as we age. UVA rays also have the capability to pass through glass, resulting in further skin damage as we drive to and from work and even as we sit at our desks by the office window. In comparison, UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburns and skin reddening. The strength of UVB rays changes based on season, time of day, and distance from the equator; however, water and snow tend to reflect these rays, further enhancing the intensity by as much as 80%. 

Now, you might be asking, how do I protect myself from these harmful rays? This is easy! By applying a daily mineral based sunscreen that contains either 6% of Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, you are protecting yourself from both UVA and UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should be applying a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 in order to achieve sufficient protection from the sun, but an SPF of 30 is even better! By being proactive and applying a sunscreen daily you will potentially be able to avoid skin damage and skin cancers in the future. So, rain or shine, sunny or cloudy, no matter the weather, sunscreen is a must!

Understanding UVA and UVB. Skin Cancer Foundation Website. http://www preven tion/uva-and-uvb/understanding-uva-and-uvb. 2015. Accessed October 5, 2015. 


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