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Understanding the Different Types of UV Radiation

difference between types of uv rays

Welcome back, our soon-to-be bronzed Goddesses (as well as Gods, and everyone in between), summertime is officially here! Do you know what that means? Yes, fun in the sun (duh) but it also means that we need to sharpen up on our sun-safety skills.

Understanding UV rays - UVA, UVB, and UVC - could quite literally save your life, as well as, your beautiful skin. While you would think most people know that UV exposure should be taken seriously, you'd be mistaken. According to a study by, only about 11% of Americans wear sunscreen daily. Don't worry though, we aren't here to hate, we're here to educate!

Get your bikinis and banana hammocks ready because we're about to teach you all you need to know about those pesky and dangerous wavelengths we always warn you about.


Every womans’ arch-nemesis, UVA radiation is the horrid culprit behind premature aging. These wavelengths are also able to penetrate the layers of the skin more deeply, causing irreparable damage to the cells. Of the UV rays that are able to reach the ground, UVA makes up about 95%.


As UVC doesn’t actually make it all the way to the ground, UVB rays offer up the remaining 5%. While these particular rays do not penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA, UVB rays do cause burning to the outermost layers of your epidermis, resulting in sometimes nasty sunburns.


Saving the most dangerous for last, UVC rays are the strongest of the bunch and can cause some really serious damage if exposed (including possibly fatal damage). Luckily, the wavelengths of the UVC rays happen to be the shortest of the bunch, so they are less likely than UVB rays to cause long-term damage. This also means that we humans can only be exposed by artificial means, such as welding torches or mercury lamps.

Protecting the Skin You’re In (and Everything underneath):

Being that you are far more likely to be exposed to UVA and UVB rays (kind of unavoidable), we will focus on the protection from those. As much as many of us enjoy having that bronzed summer glow, the consequences of sun exposure and damage from the rays hardly seem worth it. There are many better (and safer) options, such as self-tanning lotion and/or spray tanning. In order to protect your skin and overall health from UV radiation, being intentional about your sun safety is a must. Hats, sunglasses, and a sunscreen that you will apply and reapply religiously can combat the harmful rays, even on the sunniest days.

Now that you can safely say that you understand UV radiation and the three different types, there is absolutely no excuse to risk it. Stay safe, sexy, and have a happy Summer!

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