Sunlight and Skin Care

Public enemy number one for the skin - the culprit behind skin damage and skin cancer is exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet radiation, in fact, is the major contributor to skin aging- even more so than a combination of all other factors including natural aging! Therefore, you protecting yourself from the sun's UV rays has to be top on your list of skin care protection strategies. The sun is out everyday- not just in the summertime. If you are really careful in protecting yourself from UV rays, you could not only prevent your skin from aging prematurely, but also you might be able to reverse some of the aging signs that have already appeared on your skin.

You should know that sun protection is more involved than you may be aware of. This section will help you understand the principles of sun protection and give you tools to optimize UV protection in your daily routine.

It’s common knowledge that sun damage is the number one factor in skin cancer and in the aging of the skin. In fact, in the three decades from 1973 to 2003, the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, rose by 81 percent.
Ultraviolet rays are divided into three separate categories and have different effects upon our bodies. Those three are: UVA, UVB and UVC rays- often written as UVA, UVB, and UVC. There are varying theories about UV radiation, but most experts agree that only type UVA and UVB rays can reach the Earth and are, therefore, harmful to our skin. UVC rays, while also dangerous, cannot get through the ozone layer to the Earth.
During peak sun hours use window blinds or shades to block out direct exposure. If you can, try to arrange your workspace and sitting areas not to be too close to the windows. These areas will best serve you away from direct sunlight. As you get further away from a window, UVA rays decrease significantly. Therefore, it makes the most sense to avoid spending too much time close to the windows- especially if you have large windows.
Sunscreens come in creams, sprays, gels, lotions, sticks, and ointments. Although a higher SPF number provides better protection, it does not necessarily increase the length of time you can be exposed to the sun.
The first step in finding and choosing the sunscreen that is best for you is to choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. That is, the better the sunscreen, the stronger its ability to provide you with a high degree of protection against sunburn, skin aging and skin cancer.
In the previous sections, the dangers of UV radiation exposure have been clearly explained and expounded upon. However, total avoidance of the sun can also lead to negative consequences. That is, there are health benefits to be had from exposure to sunlight.