Too much sun exposure can damage the skin, and frequent burns can increase the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, and more. That said, we have all been programmed to fear sun exposure of any sort and that really is a shame. We need to enjoy the sun, we just have to be smart about it.
There are many different types of rays that the sun produces, but the two main r…ays that we are concerned with are the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The UVB rays are the good guys – they are the ones that stimulate the Vitamin D production in our skin. UVA rays are the ones that are the primary risk factor for cancer. Experts believe that the optimal amount of sun exposure (and in turn Vitamin D production) each person needs is when their skin turns the slightest shade of pink. Of course, this depends on your skin color, but any exposure after that will not yield more vitamin D, as your body can only create so much in any one day. Once you start turning pink, you are also increasing your risk for a more severe burn. Sunscreens also offer a false sense of protection, as many on the market do not screen for the UVA rays, but do screen for UVB, which makes no sense at all considering UVB are the rays required for Vitamin D production.
UVB rays are at their peak around noon, and they are more easily filtered in overcast and cloudy weather. UVA rays are not filtered as well, so even when it’s cloudy outside, these rays are still shining through. Also, UVB rays are not as strong early and late in the day, but UVA rays are. Something to keep in mind if you enjoy your outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening