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UV and the skin

UV radiation causes photo-ageing

Many people think of ultraviolet rays (UV) as a single phenomenon. In truth there are two types of UV radiation that affect the skin: UV-A (long wave-length) and UV-B (middle range wave-length). The former, UV-A, doesn’t inflict much sudden damage, but it penetrates deep into the skin where it causes photo-ageing such as wrinkles, sagging and skin cancer. UV-B, on the other hand, though less abundant than UVA, causes instant inflammation, sunburn and can also lead to skin cancer.
Most of the ultraviolet rays that reach the earth are scattered light. Sunlight is much more direct: about 80 percent of the sunlight we see shines upon us in a straight path. For UV radiation, the number is closer to 40 percent. The other 60 percent bounces off particles in the atmosphere and ricochets at the planet from various angles. You can’t avoid it simply by turning your back to the sun. You have to take steps to protect your skin from every angle.
UV rays shine upon us all day long, no matter where we are in the world. Protection year round is best. Children are especially susceptible to UV damage. According to the World Health Organization, the skin cancer risk later in life is strongly affected by the amount of UV a person is exposed up to the age of eighteen. The key protection, for beautiful skin, is to block out UV radiation and its many scary consequences.

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