The summer may be filled with BBQs and beach trips and while we don’t typically think of these nostalgic-inducing activities as dangerous, it’s important to prepare yourself for all the additional time spent outdoors. July is UV Awareness Month, and we’re giving you the tools to stay safe and enjoy the extended daylight.
The Many Faces of UV Rays
There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. The first two— UVA and UVB— are the two that cause sun damage and skin cancer.
UVA: These rays are longer and are what causes the skin to tan. Unfortunately, these rays also age skin cells and they are linked to damage such as wrinkles and some skin cancers. UVA sun damage can be sneaky. You may not feel any pain or discomfort, but your skin is still being damaged.
UVB: These rays are shorter have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They are the rays that cause sunburns and are also thought to cause most skin cancers.
Since both cause damage, it’s important to protect against both
What Exactly is SPF?
Unprotected sun exposure can cause wrinkles and fine lines, brown spots and dull, congested skin. SPF, or the Sun Protection Factor measures how well a sunscreen protects you from UVB rays.
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
Choosing SPF over 30 is a must if you plan on being in the sunshine for a prolonged period of time, and SPF 50 is a great option for sensitive areas such as your face.
Choosing a Sunscreen
There are two different types of sunscreen: physical and chemical.
Physical sunscreen: This type sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. It is ideal for those with or sensitive skin, and while it can be harder to blend into the skin, physical sunscreens tend to be more moisturizing.
Chemical sunscreen: This type absorbs into the skin and absorbs UV rays. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin quicker and are typically water-resistant and sweat-proof, so if you’re the active type, this may be the better option.
It may seem like a lot of information to take in, but knowing how to protect your skin from sun damage is valuable. Enjoy the sunshine safely without worry.
At Laser Gentle, we offer numerous treatments for damaged skin:
Bonus: during the month of July, we are offering 25% off all SPF products. Don’t miss out on this special deal!
Give us a call and set up your appointment in Natick or Burlington to get glowing skin and learn more!