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Sunscreens Used in the Cosmetics Industry - Part 1

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Nov 15, 2006

The sun produces both visible and invisible rays. The invisible rays, known as Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB), cause most of the problems, including suntan, sunburn, and sun damage. This ultaviolet radiation is just below the visible light spectrum (400 to 700 nanometers or nm for short) and is a small band between 250 and 400 nm. There is no "safe" ultraviolet (UV) light. Likewise, there is no such thing as a safe tan. The sun also emits Ultraviolet C (UVC) rays (which are almost totally absorbed by the earth's ozone layer) but we are still learning more about these. In the ultrviolet spectrum, the UVA long wavelengths fall between 320 and 400 nm, UVB shorther wavelengths are from 290 and 320 nm and the shortest band is UVC at 250 and 320 nm. UVA rays constitute 90-95% of the ultraviolet light reaching the earth even with the ozone layer. To protect the skin against the damage that can be caused by UVA and UVB exposure, we can apply sunscreens in the form of creams, lotions or sprays.

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