UVA vs. UVB raysUVA vs. UVB rays

Both UVA and UVB rays cause damage to your skin, but in different ways. UVB rays penetrate the top layer of your skin, while UVA rays penetrate deeper layers of your skin. There’s a simple trick to remembering your rays in the letters themselves: UVA rays affect aging, while UVB rays cause burning.

  1. UVA rays are always present – even on a cloudy day. These are the rays that cause signs of aging (wrinkles, sun spots and leathery skin) because they penetrate deeper into your skin and damage the cells below the surface.
  2. UVB rays are the cancer-causing rays and what cause sunburns. They’re most dominant during peak summer months, but they also reflect off of snow and water. While large amounts of UVB rays can cause cancer, UVB rays are the biggest culprit.
  3. Since 95% of the UV exposure the average person receives can pass through clouds, glass and even clothes, you need to wear sunscreen each day, all year round.
  4. Both types of UV rays are actually more harmful at cruising altitudes, so it’s important to wear sunscreen, even on a plane.


There are two types of sunscreen – UVB protecting sunscreen and broad spectrum sunscreen. UVB protecting sunscreen only blocks UVB rays, while broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both types of UV rays. To protect yourself from both types of harmful UV rays, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen each morning.

PCA SKIN® offers different daily broad spectrum sunscreens, all with different levels of hydration to fit your skin’s unique needs.

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