UV rays increase premature skin ageing, burning, skin damage and skin cancer risk.
Sunlight is the main exposure to UV rays for most of the population. The intensity of the UV rays that reach the ground depend on:
Time of day
UV rays are strongest between 10am-4pm.
UV rays are stronger during the summer and spring months; however, it is still important to remember that they can penetrate through clouds and are still here in winter months (especially UVA rays).
Water, sand, snow, pavements can all reflect UV rays which increases exposure.
The higher up you are above sea level, the more UV rays.
Distance from the equator
UV exposure decreases as you move away from the equator.
UV exposure depends on all of these factors, along with how long skin is exposed to UV rays and if the skin is protected (sunscreen or clothing).
However, it’s not just the sunshine which causes exposure to UV rays. Tanning booths/sun-beds are a source of UV rays too, and mainly omit UVA rays. The amount of UV rays in a tanning booth depends on the lamps used, duration used, and frequency. Previously tanning booths/sun-beds were seen to be safe, however, we now know this is not true.
Ways you can protect your skin: