5 WAYS YOU'RE GETTING HARMFUL SUN EXPOSURE AND DIDN'T KNOW IT.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and you have probably seen a lot more content in the news and online about sun safety, wearing SPF and avoiding sunburn. This is all important advice and with that beautiful yellow ball in the sky making more of an appearance this time of year, it’s advice you want to put into action. Especially because new data from NHS Digital and The British Association of Dermatologists states skin cancer cases have increased 23% from 2013. Yikes!
But first, let’s pop on our science hats for a minute! Most people associate bright sunny days with the need for sun protection. However, the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause damage to our skin are actually invisible to the human eye. They are invisible because they have shorter wavelengths than the light we can see. UV rays are present even when the sun isn’t shining brightly because some are able to pass through cloud cover. UV rays cause DNA damage in the skin cells, which alters how they behave and leads to skin cancer. The two types of UV rays that are emitted by the sun and reach the Earth’s surface are:
Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays:
UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and play a major role in the development of skin cancer. Compared to UVA rays, UVB rays have shorter wavelengths and reach the outermost layers of your skin called the epidermis. When choosing a sunscreen, the SPF rating tells you how well a sunscreen protects your skin from UVB rays.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays:
UVA rays cause skin damage that results in tanning, hyper-pigmentation (a.k.a. age spots) and premature skin ageing such as wrinkles and skin laxity. UVA rays also contribute to the development of skin cancer. UVA rays make up 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth and have longer wavelengths than UVB rays allowing them to reach the deeper layer of your skin called the dermis.
A simplistic and handy way to remember the differences is UVB is for Burning and UVA is for Ageing. Both types cause skin cancer and you should protect yourself from both! Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen to ensure you are getting the protection you need. Another excellent choice for broad-spectrum protection is wearing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) Clothing, such as our UPF 50+ gloves for your hands.
Now that we've got the science bit out of the way, let’s talk get to the 5 ways you can be exposed to harmful UV rays and you may not have realised it!
You got the tunes on, air con on and windows rolled up. Do you think your safe from the sun in the comfort of your car? Unfortunately, research has shown that you’re not. The longer UVA rays have the ability to pass through window glass. Although the windshields of most modern cars provide good UV protection blocking out 96% of UV rays on average, side window’s protection is much lower. According to a study by Dr. Boxer Wachler in JAMA Opthamology, an average of 71% of UVA rays passed through side windows and was inconsistent. So, those ageing UVA rays that contribute to skin cancer can still be causing damage to your skin. If you drive regularly or have some road trips planned, be sure to protect your skin. Especially your face, arms and hands. As the residue of sunscreen can transfer from your hands to the steering wheel, our MANISAFE UV protective gloves deliver UPF 50+ protection for your hands and make a style statement too. The fingerless design means you can still interact with your car’s touchscreens.
The temperature drops when clouds roll in but they only reduce some of the UV rays, which is why you can still get burnt. UVA rays are present all year round even with thick cloud cover, which is why dermatologists advise to protect your skin 365 days per year.
IN THE NAIL SALON
Okay, so the sun isn’t hiding in your local nail salon but the nail lamps used to harden the gel manicure emit artificial UV radiation. It's these invisible UVA rays that give your glossy gel manicure its durable finish that lasts for at least two weeks. Artificial UV rays are proven to cause damage to skin just as the sun’s rays do. Modern LED nail lamps have shorter exposure times but use a higher intensity dose of UVA rays than traditional UV lamps. The current risk of skin cancer with nail lamps is thought to be low but more research needs to be done on the long term effects. However, repetitive exposure from the sun and artificial sources all adds up and wreaks havoc on your hand’s skin! Surely you don’t go to the nail salon to age your hands and possibly increase your risk for skin cancer, so slip on a pair of our UV protective gloves for your next gel manicure.
WORKING WITH A VIEW
Sitting near a window and getting natural sunlight does wonders for sense of wellbeing. However, as we mentioned above, UVA rays can pass through window glass. So, applying UV protection indoors is important in this scenario.
IN THE SWIMMING POOL
If you’re taking a plunge, those sneaky and lengthy UVA rays can still reach your body parts under the water. A UPF 50+ swimming costume paired with waterproof broad-spectrum SPF are the best combo to keep you protected.
Were you aware of these 5 ways your skin can be exposed to harmful UV rays? This is why at MANISAFE we encourage be people not just to be sun safe, but UV safe. Let’s retrain our brains that a sunny day isn’t the only day we need to protect our skin.
Do you protect your hands as much as your face? Check out our entire collection of multi-award-winning UV protective manicure and sunblock gloves here.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog…UPF 50+ clothing: Your other BFF besides SPF.