July is UV Safety Awareness Month. During the sunny summer months, a lot of emphasis is placed on protecting our skin and eyes from Ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can penetrate and change skin cells.

Most UV radiation comes from sunlight. About 95% of the UV rays from the sun that reach the ground are UVA rays, while the remaining 5% are UVB rays. UVA rays can cause long-term skin damage, like premature aging and wrinkling, and may lead to some skin cancers. UVB rays can directly damage your skin cells’ DNA and are the main rays that cause sunburns and most skin cancers.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is an essential factor when determining which sunscreen you use. SPF values measure how much a sunscreen can protect you from sunburn. For example, if you apply SPF 30 sunscreen sufficiently and evenly, it will take 30 times longer for your skin to begin to burn than if you did not wear any sunscreen protection at all. With this in mind, you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming, towel dry, and apply again for extended sun exposure.

Use the 5 S’s of sun safety to protect yourself.

Click here to take our UV Quiz from July 1-31 and you could win a sun-themed raffle prize!

For more information on UV Safety, check out the links below.

American Cancer Society | Centers for Disease Control

Environmental Protection Agency | Food and Drug Administration