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Sun Facts Your Skin Wants You to Know

Learn more about the damage that the sun could have on your skin and how to prevent further damage for naturally radiant and younger looking skin.

The sun is really far away; almost a hundred and fifty million kilometers. If you started driving there in your car right now at 200km per hour, it would take you over 85 years to reach your destination. And yet radiation from the sun makes that trip in 8 minutes.

This radiation is the result of a nuclear reaction that sees the sun use up millions of tons of Hydrogen every minute. The atmosphere does a good job at protecting us from higher energy radiation, but UVA and UVB (harmful waves that reach the Earth’s surface that can damage our skin), still manage to get through.

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?

While UVB was once thought to be the main concern, UVA accounts for up to 95% of the UV radiation that reaches our skin, penetrating the superficial layers.

Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) make up the majority of the sun’s natural light. These type of rays can infiltrate deep into the skin, causing wrinkles and premature aging.

Meanwhile, Ultraviolet B rays (UVB) are the primary cause of sunburns. They are nearly 1000 times stronger than UVA rays.

What are the side effects of too much UV exposure?

Both UVA and UVB can cause ‘photo aging’ – the term dermatologist’s use for aging caused by the sun. This particular type of damage to your skin affects its ability to repair itself, causing your skin to look older than it truly is.

Beneath the skins surface, the sun’s rays can cause damage to our skin’s DNA, which can lead to skin cancer. According to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, one in every three cancers diagnosed worldwide is a form of skin cancer and 80-90% of these diagnoses are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

How do I protect myself from sun damage?

It’s important to protect yourself from sun damage by using an SPF formula. As a rule, take the number of minutes you can stay in the sun and multiply it by the SPF number.

So, if you normally burn after 20 minutes, the AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 should help protect you for up to 5hrs in the sun.

And whether you have fair skin, an olive complexion or a darker skin tone, preventative measures should never be an afterthought. All in all, the risk of UV radiation is the same for all skin types.

According to the World Health Organization, it is a popular misconception that only fair skinned individuals should be concerned about overexposure to the sun. The risk is equally the same for those with darker skin pigmentation.

If I do get sunburnt, what should I do to heal it?

Despite your best efforts, a painful sunburn can quickly become a reality. To heal your discomfort and reverse the damage, here are some cures that can lend a helping hand:

  • Oatmeal can help reduce the pain and swelling of a sunburn. Soak in a cool bath and add Aveeno® Soothing Bath Treatment, made with 100% pure ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal, a soothing formula, that can temporarily relieve irritated, itchy skin.
  • Moisturizing your skin after a cool bath or shower will also help soothe your skin after a sunburn. Repeat frequently to prevent your skin from peeling or flaking.
  • Drink up! A sunburn will unfortunately draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. By drinking extra water, you will help prevent dehydration and you will also restore your body’s internal temperature.

Learn what else you can do with natural beauty secrets brought to you by AVEENO®.