Dermatologist Dr Joëlle Sébaoun says "The sun bombards us with UV rays: ultraviolet A and B."
Ultraviolet A rays
(UVA) pass through the skin's epidermis (top layer) and as they burn can cause DNA damage.
Ultraviolet B rays
(UVB) make it all the way to the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) causing a true sunburn
"A first degree burn is if it just turns red," she explains "and a second degree burn is when it blisters."
If we don't moderate our sun exposure, our skin can show signs of early ageing through wrinkles
and melasma (age or sun spots). Not to mention the damage the sun can do to our eyes. Wearing UV protective sun glasses is a must!
Don't be mistaken into thinking that the sun's UV rays are only dangerous at the beach in summertime. In the UK, traditionally cooler northern counties have some of the highest incidents of skin cancer! It can get you even on a cloudy day!
The sun's strength depends on the latitude (the sun is stronger in the tropics), the altitude (UVs are greater at high altitudes), the time of day (the sun is at its highest at noon when its rays are vertical), and the season (the sun is weaker in winter).