Sun exposure causes 90% of all skin cancers.

Overcast days are not much safer than those that are sunny as 70-80% of the suns ultraviolet rays can get through the clouds. While you might feel confident that on a cloudy day you don’t have to worry about protecting from the sun, this is not the case. Whenever you are outdoors you should be mindful of the sun’s effects, and limit your exposure. Make sure to always bring a hat and sunscreen out with you to be careful, and if you have children ensure that they are well equipped and protected from the sun’s rays. In general, children can get all the vitamin D they need from fortified milk, salmon, vitamin supplements and/or brief, casual sun exposure.

Here are some quick facts about the sun that you might find surprising:

  • The sun is about 80% stronger when reflected off sand and snow.
  • The suns rays increase in intensity about 4% for every 1000ft rise in altitude.
  • The sun weakens the immune system, reducing your defense against infection.


UVA Rays: The Aging Rays

UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin’s layers, damaging collagen and cells. They can cause wrinkling, pigmentation and loss of elasticity. Long term skin exposure to UVA rays will lead to premature aging. UVA rays can pass through glass (office and vehicles), and are not affected by weather or altitude. These rays are present all day, every day of the year and are up to 50 times more prevalent than UVB Rays. It is important protect yourself and your skin from UVA rays by limiting your exposure and covering up.

UVA rays increase the risk of skin cancer.

UVB Rays: The Burning Rays

The effects of UVB rays are noticed immediately, unlike UVA rays. UVB rays mostly affect the outer layer of the skin. They cause sunburns and tanning that increase the risk of skin cancer. Unlike UVA rays, these rays vary with time of day and seasons and are stronger in summer. On a cloudy day, you won’t feel the effects as harshly as you would from being out on a hot, sunny summer afternoon, but it is still vital to protect from UVB rays at all times. The SPF (sun protection factor) number of a sunscreen indicated only the level of protection from UVB, and your skin sensitivity may vary the level of SPF protection you will need to stay safe.

UV rays blocked by broad-spectrum sunscreenUV Radiation and the Skin