UV Light and Skin Damage

Sunscreen is a daily necessity for healthy skin. The year-round exposure we get from sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays leads to aging of our skin leading to wrinkles, spotty pigmentation and damage to collagen fibers. This damage applies not only to fair-skinned individuals but to all skin types.

UV exposure causes an inflammatory response in the skin, causing direct damage to the skin as well as depleting vitamins and antioxidants. Protect your skin daily, winter and summer, with an appropriate sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and clothing.

Damaging UV Rays

Sunlight has two different rays that harm our skin — UVB and UVA. Both UVB and UVA  rays cause skin damage and lead to certain cancers. 


UVB light damages the skin’s surface layer and is responsible for sunburn. They also play a great role in causing skin cancers. UVB is most intense between 10am and 2pm when the sun is at its brightest. It’s also more intense during the summer months. Because of its particular wavelength, UVB does not penetrate glass. 


This light has a longer wavelength and can penetrate glass including office, home and car windows. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays and are a major contributor to skin damage and aging. It’s so important to wear sunscreen every day even if you’re indoors or in your car.

Best protection against UVB and UVA

SPF sunscreens – protect us from UVB rays, but not from UVA rays

Broad spectrum sunscreens – protect us from UVA rays

To adequately protect your skin, you should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVB and UVA light. 

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates how much protection a product offers against UVB light only. 

Double SPF doesn’t always mean double protection; here are the differences:

  • SPF 15 offers protection from 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 offers protection from 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 offers protection from 98% of UVB rays
  • SPF 100 offers protection from 99% of UVB rays

Those using an SPF sunscreen may decide to stay in the sun for longer periods because they feel protected and aren’t developing a sunburn. However, they are exposing themselves to the deeper penetrating UVA rays (or aging rays). 

Make sure when selecting your sunscreen that you not only choose your desired SPF level but that the product states it is broad spectrum. Apply sunscreen several times a day, not forgetting ears, the back of your neck, the tops of your feet and hands, and your hair part. 

Research shows we typically don’t apply the same amount of SPF as when testing is being performed during the development of a sunscreen product. Most sunscreen users only apply 25-75% of that quantity. Remember, don’t skimp! Additionally, you shouldn’t rely on just sunscreen as a way to avoid the sun’s rays. Protective clothing, sunglasses and hats can also help protect you.

Is my makeup with sunscreen enough protection?

Makeup is typically not enough to protect your skin even if it has a high SPF. You would need much more makeup than you typically use to reach the labeled protection level. 

Do I apply sunscreen before my makeup?

The application order of skin care and sunscreen products is important to maximize protection from the sun. It’s best to apply sunscreen after washing and moisturizing your face but before applying makeup. 

We have a great selection of Broad Spectrum SPF sunscreens, both tinted and untinted. Client favorites include:


Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36*

  • Winner of 2021 Shape “Best Tinted Moisturizer” 
  • Contains powerful antioxidants to protect skin against pollution 

EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 40*

  • Includes hydrating Hyaluronic Acid to boost moisture and diminish fine lines
  • Also includes an antioxidant that helps reduce the visible signs of aging


Alastin SilkSHIELD All Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with TriHEX* 

  • Winner of 2022 InStyle’s Most Innovative Skincare 

EltaMD UV Daily Broad Sprectrum SPF 40   

  • Includes hyrating Hyaluronic Acid to boost moisture and diminish fine lines
  • Also includes an antioxidant that helps reduce the visible signs of aging

Blue light emitted from computers, cell phones and televisions can also cause skin damage and hyperpigmentation. Many sunscreens don’t protect against blue light. If you want blue light protection in addition to UV protection, the two Alastin products listed above are great options. Science has also shown that tinted sunscreens also give great protection, like the EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF40. 

Stop by and let us help you discover the sunscreen you’ll enjoy wearing! Your skin will thank you!