Time to get outside and enjoy the Summer
Finally, the sun is shining! Time to get outside and enjoy the Toronto Summer.
Sunlight is great for so many reasons; it feels nice on your skin, provides mood-boosting Vitamin D and it benefits our internal health by killing bad bacteria, lowering blood pressure and increasing oxygen content in blood, to name a few. The downside of basking in the sun are the negative effects caused by exposure to Ultra Violet (UV) rays which release from the sun in three different forms; UVA, UVB and UVC.
UVA and UVB rays can cause changes to your cells and the appearance of your skin. UVA rays cause wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin sagging and most importantly skin cancer. They are 20x more prevalent than UVB rays and are relatively constant year round, rain or shine. UVA rays can also pass through glass which is why it's important to wear sunscreen every day, whether you're outdoors or not. UVB rays cause sunburn, they also penetrate the skin and promote skin cancer.
Luckily UVC rays are completely filtered by the atmosphere and do not reach the earth's surface.
Other than avoiding the sun (especially during 10:00am-4: 00 pm, the peak sun hours) you can wear Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) clothing and Sun Protection Factor (SPF) sunscreen to protect your skin. Skin is your largest organ and by wearing sunscreen to shield your skin from the UVA and UVB rays you are preventing damage. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends wearing a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more to defend your skin properly.
Types of UV Filters
There are two different types of SPF filters, chemical and mineral filters, that cover different ranges of the UV spectrum. Chemical filters tend to filter small ranges of the UVA and UVB spectrum. For this reason, it's often essential to combine several chemical filters to achieve broad-spectrum UV protection. Physical filters have a more complete scope of protection. Physical filters span the UVA and UVB spectrum, offering broader UV protection than most chemical filters. Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the sun by deflecting or blocking the sun's rays and chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays.
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