UV Rays – The Invisible Danger

When we think of UV protection we tend to think of our lovely summer holidays, lying by the beach applying your suncream and soaking in the rays. However, the shocking truth is that UV rays damage and penetrate the skin all year round regardless of the weather.

There are different types of UV rays, in fact, there are 3 types of UV rays. UVC rays are the rays that are absorbed by the Earths atmosphere and are harmless as they never reach your skin. However, UVA and UVB rays are the ones that you need to be more cautious about. For a long time, it was thought that UVB rays were the worst but they would only affect you at peak sun times (10:00 am till 4:00 pm) but it’s actually the UVA rays that you have to be worried about. UVA rays are known as the worst of all the UV rays as they occur all day long regardless of whether there are clouds in the sky; UVA’s also penetrate the skin a lot deeper and has been known to play a major part in skin ageing and wrinkling.

Ageing is a major result of sun damage. The Ultra-Violet light damages the fibre in your skin called elastin and collagen. Elastin and Collagen are found in the dermis layer of skin (just below the very outer most layer of skin). Collagen breaks down naturally as we age but due to the UV rays, the break down happens a lot faster making us look older from earlier on. Scientists believe that UV rays can be accounted for 80% of skin ageing (including wrinkles) in a study of almost 300 women, half sun worshippers and half sun shy. One way to check how much sun damage you have is if you look at the skin on your hands and the skin on your upper arms, the majority of the time your upper arm will look the best. This is because our hands are constantly exposed to UV rays all year round whereas we tend to wear jumpers and long sleeve tops that cover our arms which protect us from the UV rays.
UV damage is a major contributor towards the production of cancer cells as it causes excessive genetic mutations. It is believed the amount of sun an exposure a person experiences before the age of 20 is the determining risk factor for melanoma.

It is important to start using SPF products in our everyday lives to as today’s cute sun freckle will be tomorrows age spot. Obagi Medical has designed a variety of products to help protect your skin from sun damage. This includes their Obagi 360 moisturizing cream with SPF 30, their Obagi Nu-Derm UV protection sunscreen SPF 32 and the Helliocare with SPF 50, these are recommended to be used every day for the ultimate protection. Using an Obagi SPF cream can also be worn under foundation acting as a shield from UV Rays and as a primer for your foundation. These sun protection creams can be purchased from our clinic, Bank Aesthetics.


It is important to start protecting your skin and using sun protection creams now as in the future you’ll be wishing you had started earlier on.