UVA Rays, how damaging are they to the skin

UVA Rays account for 80% of skin ageing

Do you care for the health of your skin?

Want to prevent it from looking like toughened cow hide?

Then you should know that the rays from the sun are extremely ageing.

That’s right, the RATE at which your skin WRINKLES and SAGS or develops CANCEROUS LESIONS, is all down to the amount of exposure you give your skin to UV rays.

Frightening really!

As educator, aesthetician and founder of The Naked Chemist, the best advice I can ever give to my customers, is to protect your skin from the suns damaging UV rays.


Radiation from the sun is commonly known to us as sunlight, comprised of short and high energy rays:

  • Cosmic
  • Gamrna
  • Ultraviolet
  • Infrared
  • Micro waves
  • Radio waves

These rays are extremely intense, they travel towards Earth at around 300,000 km’s per second, most of which passes through the atmosphere.

The rays known to have a detrimental effect on the skin:

  • UVA Ultra violet rays
  • UVB Ultra violet rays
  • UVC Ultra violet rays
  • Infrared

These rays are created by the electromagnetic spectrum known as electromagnetic radiation, they have a wavelength that is shorter than visible light, which span from 10 nm to 400 nm.


Referred to in the beauty industry as the AGEING RAY, their wavelength sits between 320 to 400nm.

UVA rays are the silent killer rays, causing sun damaged skin in the form of UVA radiation, they are responsible for around 30% of all sunburn.

UVA is extremely damaging, it mutates our cellular DNA penetrating all the way down to the second layer of skin the dermis it is in this layer that it causes degenerative changes such as premature ageing and hyperpigmentation.


When UVA rays heat up the dermis it excites the cells generating the production of free radicals, in response the body’s immune system sends in elastase and collagenase our repair enzymes.

The skin mistakes the UVA ray for a foreign body; it starts to attack the fibroblasts which give our skin structure and strength, breaking down healthy elastin and collagen.

You know that thick leathery skin that you associate with excessive sun tanning?

This is because continual exposure to UVA weakens the fibroblasts; they clump together in a mass causing lines, wrinkles, broken capillaries and inflammation.

Blobs of toughened elastin rise up from the dermal bed to the epidermis, which shows up as sun damaged skin.


So why is it that UVA ages yet UVB only burns sometimes?

UVB rays are short and energetic, they don’t travel long distances and are much stronger during the summer.

UVB is only a problem when the sun is at its highest around 12.00pm until 2pm, and UVB is easily blocked by cloud, glass and clothing.

UVA rays however are closer in wavelength to visible light and are present most of the day, they are much more intense and longer then UVB.

The exposure we get from UVA can be misleading, because it shows up in the skin as a delayed reaction.

The bottom line is you are always exposed to UVA rays even on a cloudy day, they continually rain down on the earth’s surface whatever the weather.

This is why I tell my clients to put in safe sun practises and wear sunscreen whether it be winter or summer, because our skin is always exposed to ageing UVA rays.

So hopefully you can see why it is SO VERY important to always wear sunscreen and carry out SAFE SUN PRACTICES, in order to PROTECT the HEALTH of your skin.


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