Many of us see the ultraviolet (UV) index on weather reports and read about UV alerts at particular times of the day. But do you know what it actually means and how it affects you?
There are two main types of UV rays and both cause damage to skin cells. Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation invisible to the human eye. Ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight are made up of UVB, which has shorter wavelengths and higher energy, and UVA, which has longer wavelengths and lower energy.
Both UVA and UVB cause damage to skin cells and contribute to skin cancer, melanoma, premature skin ageing, wrinkles and sun spots.
UVB is predominantly responsible for sunburn and UVA contributes to ageing as it penetrates deeper into the skin layers due to its longer wavelengths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends protecting the skin from the sun when the Ultraviolet Radiation Index (UVI) is 3 or higher. According to the WHO, "the UVI is a measure of the level of UV radiation. The values of the index range from zero upward. The higher the UVI, the grater the potential damage to the skin and eye and the less time it takes to occur."
Our Founder Johanna Young (right) had the pleasure to meet and discuss this subject with Dr Emilie Van Deventer (left), who is the leading expert at the WHO of the Radiation Programme. Dr Van Deventer says "Only recently has tanning become a fashion requiring preventive messages to explain the obvious, that it is dangerous to burn your skin and that sun protection is paramount."
The "index" part of the UVI refers to a table which was created over 20 years ago. This table was to be used in European countries and across North America.
Below is a summary of the UVI chart provided by the WHO.
For non-science enthusiasts, the most important thing to remember is that both the UVA and the UVB are harmful and can contribute to skin cancer, melanoma, premature skin ageing, wrinkles and sun spots.
It is also important to remember that even on cloudy days, the UV levels can be extreme. Research shows that up to 80% of UV radiation penetrates clouds.
Failure to use UPF50+ sun protective clothing, a sun hat and SPF50+ sunscreen will increase exposure to harmful UV rays.
At SOLBARI, we encourage all individuals to lead a healthy outdoors lifestyle, but remind them that it is essential to protect your skin and check it regularly.
Thanks for reading!
The SOLBARI Team
This Blog is for information purpose only.
1. Be aware that not all clothing provides the same level of sun protection.
Regular summer clothes might have an Ultra Protection Factor rating (UPF) as low as 5.
A UPF of 5 provides little sun protection and lets large amounts of sunlight and UV rays pass through. This can lead to skin damage, premature skin ageing, skin cancer and melanoma.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sun protective clothing as the best way to protect your skin against the sun's damaging rays. SOLBARI UPF50+ garments provide the highest sun protection rating for fabrics and block out 98% of harmful UV rays.
It's hard to know what to do about sun protection when you are constantly reminded about the importance of vitamin D. You can have both, without skin damage or nutritional deficiency.
In this blog, we endeavour to tell you how.
You can see sunlight and feel the sun's heat. However, you cannot see or feel ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
It’s a common misconception that sun damage only occurs in hot climates, as many people associate damage with the visible signs of sun exposure, i.e sunburn.
You may be surprised to learn that the sun’s UVA and UVB rays actually have different, yet equally harmful, effects on the skin. They also have the potential to cause damage in the winter, as well as in the summer.