As we are gearing up for summer have you remembered to put on your sunscreen? If you are like me, I have lots of outside activities such as fair, gardening, camping, and hiking planned. It is important to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays and sunburns.
Sunlight is essential for many bodily functions, including the production of vitamin D as well as maintaining your internal clock known as your circadian rhythm. Sunlight is also known to elevate people’s mood and improve concentration. Just as with many vitamins, too much sun can be harmful.
Protecting yourself against the suns ultraviolet rays is key. The sun has two types of ultraviolet rays that you will want to protect. The first is ultraviolet A (UVA) light which is 95% of most sunlight and is responsible for wrinkling and age spots. The second type is ultraviolet B (UVB) light. This makes up the remainder of the rays and is the primary cause of sunburns. Both ultraviolet rays may cause skin cancer.
Selecting a sunscreen can be a challenge with the many types that are available. Sunscreens contain filters that reflect, scatter or absorb UV light that would otherwise reach your skin. There are two main types of sunscreen available, organic filters (chemical sunscreens) and inorganic filters (physical sunscreens).
- Organic filters such as oxybenzone and avobenzone are good filters for UVA, but will need to be combined with other agents to provide UVB protection.
- Inorganic filters are mineral compounds such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that work by reflecting and scattering UV light to protect your skin.
Living in Colorado is a blessing as we can see all seasons year round. The downside to living in this beautiful state full of many types of outdoor adventures for all is our elevation and the intense rays from the sun so protection year-round is needed.