UV means ultraviolet, and refers to the radioactive rays emitted by the sun. Two types of damaging UV rays reach the earth: UVA and UVB. UVA rays mainly cause aging, while UVB rays mainly cause burning. However, SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures only UVB—not UVA protection. And most experts agree that up to 80% of skin aging can be attributed to UVA rays. That’s why when you are looking for a sun protection you should consider a UVA/UVB sunscreen.
Mexoryl Sunscreens provide the highest UVA and UVB protection available.
What are the major differences between UVA and UVB rays?
Unlike UVB rays, UVA radiation levels have small fluctuations during the day, and are present from sunrise to sunset every day, all year round, even in the winter and on cloudy days, and over time can lead to skin cancer.
· UVA rays persist all year round, even in the winter– unlike UVB rays.
· UVA rays exist from sunrise to sunset, even on cloudy days – unlike UVB rays.
· UVA rays pass through windows and glass - unlike UVB rays.
· UVA rays penetrate deeper into the dermis than UVB rays
While UVB rays remain primarily at the top level of the skin’s surface (the epidermis) UVA rays penetrate deeper into the dermis or base layer of the skin. UVA rays:
· activates the melanin stored in the epidermis, and produces a pigmentation effect visible within one hour but usually fades in 24 hours.
· penetrates the epidermis where connective tissue and blood vessels exist. The result is a loss of elasticity that causes the skin to sag, wrinkle, and age prematurely.
· primarily remains at the epidermis level.
· large doses of UVB radiation will cause acute sunburn, redness, burning sensation, and blistering.
· UVB rays stimulate the formulation of melanin, causing a significant pigmentation of the skin. This darkening effect will be evident after approximately 24 hours and is relatively long-lasting.
UVA/UVB sunscreens will not only give you short term protection from sunburns, but also provide long term damage from wrinkles, sagging skin and premature aging. When selecting a good UVA/UVA sunscreen look for a product that will block both UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients like Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL, titanium dioxide, Parsol 1789 and titanium dioxide, especially when combined together, will deliver some of the most effective UVA/UVB protective sunscreens on the market today.
Effective UVA/UVB sunscreens include La Roche Posay’s Anthelios and L’Oreal’s Ombrelle and may be purchased at quality pharmacies throughout Canada and worldwide.