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The Risks and Benefits and Ultraviolet Radiation

While most people blame time for the aging process that everyone’s skin goes through, the truth is that the environment itself plays sometimes even a greater role. The wind, the dirt, the dust, and all the rest of contaminant agents present in the air are definitely among the most harmful ones but, if we had to choose the one external agent that causes the most harm to the skin, that would be, without a doubt, the sun.

This is because sunrays are composed of different types of ultraviolet light (known as UV), which radiation greatly affects many layers of the skin. However, of the three different kinds of UV rays, only the weakest one, known as UVA, is the one people are exposed to the most. The other two kinds (UVB and UVC) barely trespass the atmosphere and reach the earth.

Now, while for most people the average doses of UV rays on any given day might not seem like much, the true danger of these rays lies in the continuous exposition to their effects, especially when it happens on a daily basis and through long periods, like months or even years. This is because in the long term, UVA rays act directly on the collagen of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin and, instead of simply causing sunburn; these rays can actually cause premature aging and further damage.

What is even worse is that a huge amount of people actually seek out sunrays during summertime, and mostly for tanning, which further increases any damage caused to the skin. Now, one of the ways in which skin protects itself, is precisely by tanning. This is due to the skin producing a lot more melanin (which is a dark pigment) than usual, which causes to change its color into darker tones. This dark tone in turn, helps to naturally protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays by forming a natural barrier against them.

This is why it is so important to dedicate a fair amount of time to the proper selection of a sun block and to the implementation of other measures, so as to prevent the full impact of UV rays.

On the other hand, it is not recommended that people should always try to avoid exposure to UV rays. And, while this may seem contradictory at first, there is actually a very good reason for it: When received in nominal amounts, UV rays help the body produce vitamin D, which is absolutely necessary to keep bones strong.

So, as you have seen, while it is not recommended to avoid the sun entirely, it is always advisable to take the necessary precautions whenever exposing yourself to it. This will not only ensure that you receive just the necessary amount of sun, but will also protect you from the harmful effects of over exposition.

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