UVA rays cause premature ageing of the skin, while UVB rays are responsible for burns and tanning. Long UVA rays are a subgroup of UVA that penetrate skin especially deeply and cause issues such as dark pigment spots, sun allergy and premature ageing. Effective protection must filter out UVA, UVB and long UVA. The most advanced sun protection products integrate anti-oxidants such as Baicalin for boosted anti-long UVA protection. The Anthelios range from La Roche-Posay offers expert UVA-UVB-long UVA protection suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
UV rays only account for 5% of the sun rays that reach the earth, but they are very powerful. There are several kinds. While UVC rays are usually blocked by the ozone layer, UVA and UVB rays reach the earth and have an effect on the skin.
UVA: a as in "ageing" or "allergies"
Occurring throughout the year and even on cloudy days, UVA rays account for 95% of the ultraviolet rays that touch the earth's surface. They are tenacious too as they can pass through clouds, glass and the epidermis.
Unlike UVB which causes sunburn, UVA rays are painless but they are not harmless. On the contrary, they can penetrate very deep within the skin to reach the cells of the dermis (skin’s deeper layer). By producing free radicals, they can cause long-term damage and bring about:
- Photoageing: skin’s support structures (collagen and elastin fibres) are modified resulting in a slackening effect and wrinkle formation.
- Sun intolerance, commonly referred to as sun allergy (redness, itching, polymorphous light eruption).
- Pigmentation disorders (pregnancy mask, dark spots).
- Development of skin cancers.
Uvb: b as in "burns" or "bronzed skin"
Uvb rays make up just 5% of the uv rays reaching earth. Unlike uva, they are stopped by clouds and glass, but they can penetrate the epidermis. They are responsible for tanning,
Long uva rays: an ever-present and invisible danger
All year round, without realizing it, we are constantly exposed to long uva rays. This is known as passive exposure. These solar rays can travel through clouds, glass and even the epidermis down to the dermis (skin’s deeper layer).
What are the effects of long uva rays?
The longer the uva rays, the more deeply they penetrate the skin. They sometimes cause skin damage which can be irreversible:
- Pigmentation and color disorders, like pregnancy mask, dark spots and a grayish complexion.
- Sun allergies and intolerances: like all uv rays, long uva rays can trigger the appearance of redness, spots on the skin and itching.
- Photo-ageing or premature ageing: reduction in the skin's elasticity and slackening, which favors the appearance of wrinkles.
Tips on how to choose your sunscreen:
To stay safe in the sun, you need a sun protection that combines uva, uvb and long uva protection. Make sure your product specifically mentions long uva, as not all formulas protect against this subtype of uv radiation. If you have fair skin with light hair and eyes, you will need high or very high protection (spf 30 - 50+), whereas you may be able to use a lower protection factor if you have darker skin. If you have sensitive skin, you need to use a brand that specifically formulates products suitable for sensitive skin.
La-roche posay anthelios range:
For nearly 30 years, la roche-posay dermatological laboratory has developed a range of sunscreens dedicated to protecting all types of sensitive skin, for both adults and children. With its effective sun protection against uva, uvb and long uva rays, the anthelios range offers you protection that's up to twice as strict as the european recommendation, while maintaining excellent tolerance even on sensitive skin.
Available in liquids, oils, milks, gels or sprays, the anthelios range from dermatologist’s partner brand la roche-posay offers you a wide choice of textures that combine comfort and protection, without compromising on tolerance for frequent use.
Anthelios respects the needs and specific requirements of each skin type and its products are available in different formats and at different levels of protection (high spf 30 protection or very high spf 50+ protection). The combination of high uva and uvb protection protects you against the immediate unpleasant effects of the sun such as sunburn, but also long-term damage like photoaging.
The best sun protection for every skin type:
Anthelios ultra comfort cream spf50+: high protection sunscreen cream for dry to very dry sensitive skin. Moisturizing, ultra-comfortable cream. Very water resistant.perfume-free, paraben-free.
Anthelios xl dry touch gel-cream spf50+: high protection sunscreen gel cream for oily and blemish-prone skin prone to sensitivity. Immediate absorption and ultra-dry finish. Very water resistant.. With perfume, paraben-free.
Anthelios pigmentation spf50+: a tinted cream texture. Provides a unified complexion. Spf50+ & uva protection. Enriched with procerad, protects skin from dark spots • suitable for pregnant women.
Anthelios invisible face mist spf50+: high protection sunscreen mist, gives an invisible, matte-finish. Can be worn over or under make-up. Has 3-second application. Does not leave white marks.
Anthelios shaka fluid spf50+: an ultra-fluid tinted texture. Provides an invisible non-sticky finish. Spf50+ & ultra high uva and infrared protection. Easy application, doest not leave white marks, water/sand/sweat resistant.