What are UV rays?

UV rays – or ultraviolet radiation – is the part of sunlight which causes sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation can be broken down into three bands: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

Does the amount of UV rays reaching Earth vary?

The amount of UV rays reaching the Earth’s surface varies throughout the day. The danger period is between 10am and 3pm. These are the hours when skin damage occurs the fastest. On a cloud-free day, we can feel maximum ultraviolet rays. However, ultraviolet levels are not related to the air temperature. There can be high levels of ultraviolet rays on cool days and UV rays still reach the Earth’s surface when there is cloud cover.

The higher the UV radiation levels, the less time it takes for skin damage to occur.

UV radiation levels are more intense between 10am – 3pm, when you need to be most vigilant about using products with UV protection such as sunscreen to shield yourself from UV light.

UV radiation levels are recorded using a UV Index (UVI), and being aware of the UVI on any particular day can help guide you in making sure you are using the right level of protection to stay sun safe.