As the weather starts cooling down in the fall, many people try to retain their tans by not wearing sunscreen.
But there’s a harsh reality – ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin even when the sun isn’t shining as much.
Dr. Joshua Smith, a Missouri State University expert in how UV rays affect our skin, explains the importance of taking care of your skin – no matter the season or your age.
There are three types of UV rays: A, B and C.
“UV C tends to get stuck in the ozone and is not as much of a problem,” said Smith, interim department head and professor in the department of biomedical sciences. “But UV A and B can come through the clouds and UV A can sneak through the glass of your car windows.”
UV A and B are a dangerous duo.
“UV A is the main culprit for the aging sun exposure can cause,” Smith said. “And UV B is responsible for the skin’s change in color as it damages the cells.”
Smith notes that shifts in skin color after being outside is not a good sign.
“When your skin changes pigmentation after being outdoors, it’s a response of UV light damage,” he said. “If you’re properly applying sunscreen, you should not see a color change.”