You may have heard of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, but do you know the difference between them?
Let's dive in and discuss UVA and UVB rays.
Most UVC light does not make it through the earth’s atmosphere so we won’t talk about them right now.
UV rays from the sun are not all the same.
These rays are different lengths and, because of this, are able to penetrate and affect different layers of the skin.
UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis, and this is where the most visible (at least immediately), results of sun overexposure are seen.
Our bodies do have some natural defense against UV rays and this differs from person to person depending on skin type. The thickness of the skin helps as does pigment in the skin. A tan is both a sign some sun damage has occurred and the body’s attempt to protect your skin from further damage.
“Your skin is trying to put up little umbrellas (either freckles or an even tan) over the DNA, trying to protect it,” says David McDaniel, MD, FAAD, and director of the Institute of Anti-Aging Research.
But if we get more sun exposure than our defenses can handle, our body mounts an inflammatory response to deal with the damage. We get the redness, tenderness, and possible blistering of a sunburn.
The UVB rays that burn our skin also damage DNA. Over time and with repeated insults, our amazing repair system becomes less able to repair DNA damage and things like moles, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer can result.
UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and reach the dermis, which is the layer that contains a lot of the body’s water supply and supports the epidermis with blood supply, nerve endings, and structure-collagen and elastin.
Overexposure to UVA rays breaks down collagen and elastin and is responsible for those signs of premature aging that might be appearing on your face and neck: sagging skin, wrinkles, fine lines. Sun damage of this type is responsible for 90% of the signs of aging.
This is actually good news. By controlling our exposure to UV rays, we can enjoy the outdoors and still maintain skin health.
Using the right skincare can limit your exposure to UV rays. Here are the ingredients we use to save your skin.
Sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays to protect your skin from damage. Our formula here at Sun Wind Snow also includes cocoa, avocado, jojoba, and coconut.
Antioxidants. Antioxidants are key to skin health and beauty. They fight and neutralize the free radicals produced by the sun and environmental exposure. We include a generous portion of free radicals in all of our skincare products, especially our RainShower Renewing Daily Cleanser, DewDrops Serum, and SunUp Antioxidant Day Cream.
Adaptogenic herbs. These magic ingredients help your skin stay strong and balanced. This means fighting environmental stress and free radicals while soothing and promoting the health of the cells. Our special blend of adaptogenic herbs was developed over nearly 30 years of clinical practice, and we include them in every SunWindSnow skincare product (except sunscreen).
Nourishing oils and butters. These luscious ingredients not only nourish skin and combat dryness but work to protect the skin’s barrier and maintain skin health and moisture.
SunWindSnow’s line of skincare products is specifically designed to provide these vital ingredients to your skin so that you can enjoy being outdoors and still have healthy, glowing skin.