Skip to main content

UVA vs. UVB Rays: Do You Know the Difference?

UVA vs UVB rays

Whether you're a sun lover, skincare enthusiast, or simply curious about the science behind sun protection, it’s important to understand the differences between UVA and UVB rays, how they affect your skin and how to properly protect yourself from their potential harm. 

UV rays (ultraviolet radiation from the sun) cause 90% of premature aging and skin cancers.  While both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage, they have different characteristics.

1. UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays:

-UVA is the aging ray. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and are responsible for premature skin aging, damaging the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing wrinkles and fine lines. 

-UVA rays are present throughout the day, even in cloudy conditions.

-Tanning beds primarily emit UVA radiation.

-Their effects may not be present until many years later

2. UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays:

-UVB is the burning ray. UVB rays affect the skin's top layers and are the primary cause of sunburn.

-UVB rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

-They contribute to the formation of cataracts in the eyes.

To protect your skin from the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays, it's essential to use broad-spectrum sunscreen, wear a hat and sun protective clothing (such as the long sleeve hoodie from Soleil Sunwear), and avoid excessive sun exposure, especially during peak sunlight hours.


Photo by Rajiv Bajaj on Unsplash