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UVA on a cloudy day

06/10/2018 by Poppy

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Everyone knows it’s important to apply sun lotion on warm, sunny days, but did you know that up to 80% of UVA rays can penetrate through clouds?

While your skin may not burn on a cloudy day it still experiences damage. UVB rays that cause burning are mostly blocked by clouds, however UVA rays are able to pass through.

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What are UVA rays?

An easy way to remember how each type of UV ray affects your skin is that UVB rays cause Burning and UVA rays cause Ageing.

UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays and are able to pass through clouds and glass. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays account for up to 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface.

Due to its longer wavelength, UVA radiation penetrates to the deeper layers of the skin (dermal layers) and affects the living cells beneath the skin’s top layers (epidermal layers) where wrinkles are formed. UVB rays primarily cause skin reddening and usually only affect the top, more superficial epidermal layers of the skin.

Both UVA and UVB radiation play a role in more serious skin health conditions, but research shows that UVA radiation may initiate the development of skin cancers.

How to protect against UVA rays

A 2015 survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society revealed that many people are confused by SPF rating on sun lotions.

Only 8% of people surveyed knew that the SPF rating on a sun lotion only refers to protection against UVB rays.

There is an easy way to check whether your sun lotion delivers the recommended level of UVA protection. The European Cosmetics Association COLIPA has designed a symbol to indicate whether products offer UVA protection in line with the recommendations of the European Commission. This symbol, which consists of the letters UVA inside a circle, is used by Green People to confirm that our products offer UVA protection in line with these recommendations.

To maintain high protection from both UVA and UVB rays it is more important to apply regularly and liberally than to choose a very high SPF sun cream.

Cancer Research recommends that two tablespoons of sun cream is applied every 2 hours; it is also advised that people avoid direct sun exposure between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00 when the sun’s harmful rays are strongest.

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Green People’s organic sun lotions provide effective, broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. They are gentle, non-irritating and suitable for those prone to eczema and prickly heat.

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