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Seasonal Skin Care

The Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays

The solar spectrum is divided into ranges defined by wavelengths.

UVB rays

UVB rays are present at a range of 290-320 nanometers. UVB are sometimes considered the sun’s burning rays, as they are most associated with sunburns. They are also thought to contribute to skin cancers. UVB rays will vary in intensity depending on time of day or time of year. They are strongest between 10am and 4:00 pm during the day and between the months of April through October.

UVA rays

UVA rays are present at a range of 320-400 nanometers. UVA rays are now thought to contribute to everything from sunburns, skin cancers and even photo aging. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays remain at a relatively stable intensity all year round. They are also thought to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers as opposed to UVB, which do most of its damage on the skin’s outer epidermal layers. UVA rays can penetrate through glass; your car windows for example.

Broad-spectrum

It is important to note that a sunscreens SPF rating is only indicative of its protection from UVB rays. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will protect you against 97% of UVB rays and will protect you 30 times longer than if you did not use sunscreen. Always look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVB and UVA rays. The complete line of Vanicream sunscreens provides broad-spectrum sun protection and meets the new FDA sunscreen regulations .

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