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Understanding the difference between UVA and UVB rays and why both are harmful

Every sunscreen out there will promise you sun protection. But what exactly does this ‘protection’ entail? Did you know sun damage is primarily linked to UVA and UVB rays? And not all sunscreens will help you with protection from both. You must invest in "broad-spectrum" UVA UVB sunscreen since it secures the skin against (Ultraviolet A) UVA and (Ultraviolet B) UVB. But are these two the same? What’s the difference? Let’s answer all of these questions in this blog!

 

In This Article:

What Are UV Rays?

What Is UVA Radiation?

What Are UV Rays?

UV rays are a form of sun radiation invisible to the naked eye. UVA radiation causes wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dark patches, and fine lines because they penetrate deeply into the skin. They can even pass through a window glass. So the need to protect yourself indoors is also important.

What Is UVA Radiation?

UVA radiation refers to a type of ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun. It is considered less intense than UVB radiation but is more prevalent and can cause significant damage over time. UVA radiation can lead to premature skin ageing, causing wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.  

What Is UVB Radiation?

UVB radiation primarily affects the outer layer of the skin. It is responsible for sunburns and tanning. While it doesn't penetrate as deeply as UVA rays, UVB exposure can still lead to skin damage. 

Why Is It Important To Protect Against Both UVA And UVB?

You must ensure complete skin protection from UVA and UVB to alleviate the following risks.

1. Early Skin Ageing

UVA rays deeply penetrate the skin, leading to premature ageing. This means they can make your skin look older than it is, often causing wrinkles. This effect of UVA rays on the skin is also known as photo ageing.

2. High Chances Of Skin Tanning

UVA and UVB rays cause skin tanning as a defense mechanism against their damage. Protecting skin from UV rays and skin damage is crucial.

3. Blisters On Your Skin

Skin blisters can result from UVB ray exposure. This condition occurs when fluid is filled between skin layers, resulting in painful blisters.

UV Rays Chart

 

UVA 

UVB

Level of energy

Low

Medium

Effect on Skin cells

Inner cells within the skin’s top layer, including those in the dermis.

Cells in the skin’s top layer

Short-term impact

Causes immediate sunburn and tanning

Causes delayed sunburn, tanning, or blistering

Long-term impact

 

Causes wrinkles and premature ageing

Causes premature ageing

Source

Tanning beds and sunlight

Tanning beds and sunlight

% of the sun’s UV rays

 

95%

 

5%

 

How Do You Protect Yourself From These Harmful Rays?

Protecting yourself from harmful sun rays requires more than just a regular sunscreen. You need a UVA and UVB sunscreen. You should also wear protective clothing to cover exposed areas such as your hands and legs. Additionally, you should apply a skin barrier protectant that defends against environmental harm like sun rays and pollution.

The right sun protection doesnt involve just a product. Its infact a combination of multiple products that works the best. Let’s look at some of the best ones to consider:

1. Sunscreen Gel

A sunscreen gel has a lightweight formula that provides great protection. Our Niacinamide and Pro-Ceramides Sunscreen Gel SPF 50 PA+++ provide maximum protection. This clinically tested In-Vivo gel shields your skin against UVA, UVB, and blue light. Additionally, it fights pigmentation and helps maintain a healthy skin barrier.

2. Body Lotion

Your body needs equal protection from sun damage, so don’t just restrict it to your face. Our Vitamin C and Pro-Ceramides Fluid Body Lotion SPF 50 PA+++ has a non-sticky formula that provides protection from UVA, UVB, and Blue light. It also helps build a healthy skin barrier. 

Takeaway

Both UVA and UVB rays from the sun can harm your skin. UVA rays can go deep into your skin and speed up the process of ageing. UVA rays may also make your skin cells look older than they are. Lack of proper skincare can lead to problems like sunburn. Protect yourself with the right products today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: 1 Which type of UV radiation is most harmful?

A. Both UVA and UVB radiation can be harmful to the skin, but in terms of which is most harmful, UVB radiation is generally considered more harmful than UVA. UVB radiation causes sunburns, which can lead to skin damage and premature ageing. 

Q: 2 What does SPF 50 PA++++ mean?

A. SPF 50 effectively guards against UVB rays, and PA++++ offers exceptional defense against UVA rays. Using sunscreen with SPF 50 and PA++++ can significantly boost your sun protection.

Q: 3 What does PA++++ mean?

A. Sunscreen with PA++++ provides high UVA protection, up to 95% or more.

Written by Samradni Pradhan on Mar 27, 2024
Samradni combines her love for exploring diverse beauty products with her knack for expressive writing. She delivers engaging content in the world of beauty with confidence and insight.

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