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Sunlight is composed of Infrared radiation (52%), Visible light (41%), and UV radiation (7%). These percentages vary both through the day and over the year.
UV radiation is further divided into UVA, UVB, and UVC based on wavelength. UVC cannot penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and so we don’t have to worry about it.
UVB rays are longer wavelengths and can penetrate only the upper layer of the skin, and are the primary cause of sunburn. UVB radiation peaks around noon.
UVA rays are 95% of UV radiation that reaches us. They can penetrate deep into the skin and cause damage to skin cells and DNA. They are present all through the day, even on cloudy days, and can penetrate glass windows.
Visible light makes up around 40% of sunlight and represents wavelengths that can be seen by the human eye. New studies are being done on the effects of visible light on skin but early results do suggest that visible light might also cause some skin damage.
To understand more on how SPF works, read our blog where we simplify SPF truths for you!