Ultraviolent Radiation and Our Skin

What is UV?

UV stands for ultraviolet radiation that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is a wave of energy produced by the sun and is invisible to the naked eye.

There are three main forms of UV from the sunlight:

- UVA

- UVB

- UVC

UVA have the longest wavelength while UVC has the shortest wavelength with UVB in the middle. Here is an important note: Shorter wavelengths of any type of radiation release higher amounts of radiation. Therefore, exposure to UVC is quite dangerous because of the high amount of radiation emitted.

While UVB and UVA travel into the atmosphere, all of UVC and some of UVB is absorbed by the ozone layer of the planet. Therefore, we are exposed to UVA rays with small amounts of UVB. 

Too Much UV Exposure…

When we are exposed to the sun without any protection, a sunburn develops on your skin. A sunburn occurs when the amount of UV rays exceeds the natural skin’s protection (melanin protects your skin) against the sun. 

For most people, a sunburn is a regular occurrence that does not pose too many problems. 

While UV makes up a small portion of the sun’s rays, it has visible damaging effects on the skin if necessary precautions are not taken to protect your skin.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Sun Exposure Without Sun Protection:

1. Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of the skin that shows up as dark spots or patches on the skin. Long periods of sun exposure and sunburns causes hyperpigmentation to manifest. The darker spots on the skin are caused by the excess of melanin production on the skin to protect your skin from harmful environmental triggers, including UV rays. The high melanin production is a result from too much exposure from the harmful UV rays.

2. Premature Aging

Premature Aging occurs when long periods of UV penetration into the skin changes the DNA in your skin. The UVA penetrates at all levels in the skin and  damages several important biological processes of the skin meant to keep it smooth and youthful. The UVB radiates on the outside layer of your skin that damages the DNA that causes photoaging. 

3. Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is the worst long-term effect where abnormal growth of cells occurs from long periods of exposure from the sun.  Skin cancer may initially appear as an innocent irregular patch on the surface of your skin that may be raised or bleed easily. Eventually, the skin patch will change size and patch to become more noticeable and the cancer will spread into the deeper layers of the skin.

How to Protect Yourself From UV:

The skin is the largest organ in the body that reflects all the biological processes occurring internally inside your body. To have the best protection against UV and their harmful effects, I will provide you with tips and tricks that will help you protect your skin topically and internally to have the best overall protection.

1. Environ Focus Care Radiance+ Range

Environ’s revolutionary 3-step Mela-Smart System is compromised of 4 innovative products that work together to help inhibit the appearance of the effects of the 6 complex steps involved in the formation of hyperpigmentation and other forms. It targets the root causes of skin discolouration dark spots, and uneven skin tone to reveal a more even-toned, radiant skin complexion. 

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is excellent for helping reduce the sign of sun damage by boosting the smooth skin collagen to fight signs of UV damage. As a result, it will help with fine lines and wrinkles caused by exposure of the UV. If you are looking for the quickest and best way to minimize your fine lines and wrinkles, I would highly recommend applying Vitamin A topically.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is considered a safe way to prevent the formation of hyperpigmentation from exposure to the sun. It is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the effect of UV radiation on your skin. However, Vitamin C can not replace sunscreen because it does not absorb light of UVA and UVB spectrum! 

4. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for protection against harmful UV rays. When Vitamin E is applied topically or taken internally, it provides a layer of protection for the skin against UV and environmental pollution. However, Vitamin E is sensitive to the light and the skin easily absorbs it. If large amounts are applied topically to the skin, it can cause acne breakouts.

5. Clothing

Wearing the right type of clothing that prevents the penetration of the UV rays into your skin is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. Wearing the right type of clothing provides consistent covering and does not require reapplication every six hours.  The best clothes for UV protection are composed of dense material and are loose-fit. For hats, make sure it is a wide brim hat that completely covers your face and protects your neck and shoulders.

Senya Ivanko

Advanced Esthetician

Senya Ivanko is the owner and operator of Xenia Skin Care & Spa. ​​With years of experience and a continuous desire to bring new techniques and services to her spa, she welcomes questions about her background, training, experience, and passion for technologically advanced customized skin care treatments.

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