C&H Weekly

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The Skinny on Sun Safety – UVA vs UVB

summer vacation, travel and people concept - happy women sunbathing in lounges on beach

The longer and warmer days of spring are here! And while we know that it is critical to be sun safe throughout the year, it is true that more daylight means more exposure to the sun’s damaging rays for most people.

With skin damage and sun safety now commonly a part of skincare discussions, some patients are looking for clarity on the difference between UVA and UVB rays and which are more damaging. The truth is, overexposure to either can seriously harm the skin.

So what’s the difference?

UVB rays are primarily to blame for sunburns and they vary in intensity depending on your location and the time of day or year.

On the other hand, UVA rays are consistent year-round and are the reason why it is critical to wear sunscreen every day, regardless of season. These rays penetrate deep into unprotected skin’s thickest layer (dermis). UVA rays are to blame for sun-related premature aging, and can pass through window glass.

Sun protection

Overexposure to either UVA or UVB rays can cause cancer and only broad spectrum sunscreens protect you from both.

If you read this blog often, you will know that I have previously written about how to safely project your skin from the damaging rays of the sun and I did a feature on sun protection last summer on CTV.

Bottom line? Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. We have several sunscreens that are team favourites for our own use and for patient recommendations. If you want to find the best sun protection for your needs, please comment below or email us at reception@carruthers-humphrey.com.

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