Damage from the sun can occur at any age, but it begins in childhood. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn, and over the years, it can result in skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Sunscreen prevents sunburn, and it limits the damage that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause to skin over time. Because all skin is vulnerable to damage caused by the sun, sunscreen is important for those who have fair skin or dark skin. Sunscreen prevents the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays from penetrating the skin, and it increases the length of time that can be spent outdoors without suffering from the harmful effects of overexposure.
Ultraviolet B rays, also known as UVB, are shorter wavelengths that commonly cause painful sunburns, while ultraviolet A rays (UVA) cause damage below the skin. Both age the skin and have the potential to cause health problems.
Reducing the harmful effects of these UV rays by applying sunscreen will help keep the skin burn and wrinkle free. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in all sunscreen products reveals the level of protection it provides. The greater the SPF, the more protection and the longer you can be exposed to the sun without harming your skin. It’s also helpful to reduce exposure to the sun and its rays by limiting the amount of time spent outdoors, even on cloudy days or in cold weather. Shielding your body and face from the sun by wearing sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing also helps.
Because damage from the sun occurs over the course of a lifetime, prevention is the best remedy. Avoid spending time in the sun during between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when its rays are strongest. When outdoors, apply a generous layer of sunscreen and remember to reapply it often, especially when swimming or engaged in other activities where sweating, rubbing, or water can wash the product off and minimize its effectiveness. While sunscreen cannot prevent all damage from the sun, it provides maximum protection against harmful ultraviolet rays.
Regardless of your age and the sensitivity of your skin, there is a sunscreen for you. Use it daily to keep your skin healthy and moisturized—your skin will thank you with a smooth, supple glow that looks younger than your years.
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