We all know we are supposed to apply sunscreen when we are outside, but what is it really protecting us from? UVA, UVB, UVC, and IR rays are all damaging to our skin. When you're not wearing sunscreen on a daily basis to help protect your skin's health, UVA and UVB rays can cause skin reddening, brown spots, accelerated skin aging, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
UVA - stands for Ultraviolet A or " UV Aging Rays". These rays cause long term skin damage and photo-aging.
UVB - stands for Ultraviolet B or "UV Burning Rays". These rays are the cause of a sunburn. UVB rays are the common cause of most skin cancers.
UVC - stands for Ultraviolet C. It is the strongest and most deadly of solar rays, however the ozone layer stops these from reaching the Earth.
IR or Infrared Rays- these rays penetrate the deepest into the skin causing the skin to lose elasticity.
Here are a few things to remember when protecting yourself.
Look at your sunscreen ingredients and make sure you see titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Apply 2 tbs of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside; reapply every 80 minutes or after swimming or sweating.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures a sunscreen's effectiveness in preventing a sunburn in relation to the length if time spent in the sun.
Schedule a yearly visit with your dermatologist for a complete skin exam.
Your body needs a variety of nutrients to look and function its best, of course, but vitamin C is a particularly important player. It offers much more than the immune-boosting properties you probably already know it for; because a lot of C is stored in your skin, it helps rejuvenate and protect your complexion whether you get it from food or apply it topically. Vitamin C in your skincare regimen is just as import as washing your face and applying sunscreen.
Here’s what happens when you feed your body vitamin C:
It helps keep the skin strong and firm. Along with minimizing the appearance of fine lines, vitamin C also helps the surface of your skin appear smoother and firmer.
It helps heal skin. Injuries that lead to scar tissue need the help of vitamin C to repair damaged skin.
Here’s what happens when you apply vitamin C topically:
It provides antioxidant protection. This feeds your skin protective antioxidants that fight free radical damage and inflammation caused by the sun, pollution and other factors.
It helps improve signs of aging. Topical vitamin C triggers collagen production by turning on fibroblasts, which helps improve the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin C also helps slow the breakdown of collagen, preserving skin’s structure.
It can even out skin tone. The L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C interrupts the overproduction of pigment. Using vitamin C over a period can lighten brown spots.