How Can UV Rays Affect Your Child’s Skin?

UV Rays can damage your child’s skin in different ways. Although, knowing how to differentiate between UVA and UVB rays and understanding the risk factors will help reduce your child’s likelihood of experiencing sun damage! ORGANii answers all our questions on UV rays and the best treatment methods for sunburn.

How can UV light rays damage your child’s skin?

UV light rays can damage your child’s skin in a number of ways such as the permanent harm to DNA; development of free radicals; the loss of tightness in the skin caused by damage to the elastic and collagen fibres which keeps the skin supple and firm, however the most common form of damage to your child’s skin is sunburn.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays? 

UVA rays are the longer length rays which penetrate deep into the skin, often known as the ‘ageing’ rays whereas UVB rays often known as the ‘burning’ rays are middle length which penetrate the top layer of your skin and triggers the production of melanin. UVB rays are at their peak intensity between 11am – 3pm.

Which type of UV ray is more dangerous? 

Both UVA and UVB are dangerous, but UVB radiation is the main cause of sunburn which can also damage the DNA at the heart of the skin cells, one of the foremost causes of skin cancer.

What are the common symptoms of sunburn?

The most common symptoms of sunburn are when the skin begins to turn red, although it can take up to 12 hours to show. This is a result of your body not being able to produce enough melanin to protect the skin from the sun’s rays but also not being protected by a suitable sun cream. As a result, your skin will become hot to touch and begin to feel tight. If you don’t keep the burned area hydrated, then it will begin to peel which is part of the skins natural healing process. People with sensitive skin may find that their skin will begin to blister and fill with a watery discharge. In some cases, your skin may begin to swell, this is due to the blood vessels rising to the damaged area. In the UK we are the worst in Europe for the use of After Sun and this can help the symptoms considerably.

Are there any risk factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing sunburn?

If you use synthetic sun creams ensure to check the expiration date of your sun cream before rubbing it into your skin, many people forget to renew their sun protection each year so if your SPF is from last summer, we would recommend investing in a new one as it could be out of date and less effective. If using natural & organic products that only use Zinc and Titanium, they are still effective but may smell a little! Do not use lotions that have been sitting out in the sun or in a hot place for a long length of time as this can cause the synthetic ingredients to break down and become less effective. Many people do forget to apply sun cream to their ears, scalp, chest, back neck and lips so ensure to cover you whole body when applying lotion. You must also apply sun cream after you have been in the pool or the sea as it can easily be washed off without you realising. Again, always use After sun to minimise the effects of burning and to remoisturise the skin.

What are the immediate things to do, if your child has sunburn?

Firstly, get them out of the sun immediately. Once out of the sun ensure to cool your child’s skin with a cool shower or bath but make sure they don’t get too cold.After, put lashings of After sun lotion to ease the burning sensation and remoisturise the skin. Be sure to use an after sun like ORGANii that does not contain mineral oils as these oils can further irritate the skin especially baby skin. It is important to keep the skin hydrated so if it continues to develop and hot to touch then apply more.

It’s also important to keep them hydrated so encourage them to drink more water, this will keep them cool but also ensure they don’t become dehydrated and develop a sore head or heat stroke.

When treating sunburnt skin, what are the common mistakes people make?

The worst thing you can do is allow yourself to stay in the sun any longer, as this will only make it worse. Some people will find that they are wearing the wrong SPF, but the biggest mistake is that we often miscalculate how long they can stay in the sun safely and remember everyone is different.Ingredients combined with sun’s rays may cause a reaction and these chemicals may be irritating the skin even more if they apply more sun cream when exposed to the sun’s rays. A common reaction is prickly heat rash. We would recommend opting for one that contains zinc oxide as this helps to soothe sun burn in addition to the protection it gives. Ensure that any clothing you or your children put on is lose fitting as this allows the skin to breath with minimal abrasion that can make any inflammation worse.

How do sunscreens and sun blocks safeguard the skin from harmful sunrays?

Sunscreens can be categorised into mineral and synthetic as they both work differently to safeguard you skin and contain different ingredients. The main difference between a natural mineral sunscreen and a synthetic one is that mineral sunscreens work by providing a protective ‘shield’ of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that instantly and effectively reflects the suns rays from your skin as it sits on the top layer of your skin (like a mirror). Whereas, synthetic sun protection cream is absorbed into the skin, a chemical reaction takes place to absorb the rays and to act as a filter and conducts the heat through it – the chemicals they contain may cause skin irritation such as prickly heat as they contain synthetic emulsifiers and preservatives, this chemical process takes up to 20 minutes to develop so you can safely go into the sun in comparison to mineral sun creams which are effective immediately.

Are there any suggestions or precautions you would recommend to parents to further protect their child from sun damage?

Always ensure your child is protected with a high SPF (the maximum now available is 50 and this gives 99% protection) for their skin and that you ensure to follow the guidelines such as re-applying after swimming. If they begin to show signs of burning, take them out of the sun or clothe them with a cotton t-shirt or towel to ensure maximum protection. Try to keep them out of the sun between the hours of 11am – 3pm as this is when UVB rays are strongest, if not then keep their sun lotion topped up throughout the day.

What makes ORGANii’s Sun Creams different to other sun protection creams on the market?

As mentioned in the answers earlier the fundamental difference is the process of protection – minerals. In addition, the ORGANii SPF range is certified organic and natural by ICEA the Italian Equivalent of the Soil Association so nano-particles are not permitted, testing on animals not permitted, registered with the Vegan Society and recyclable packaging is used. No mineral oils only vegetable oils and natural plant ingredients to moisturise and protect the skin.

To be clear, synthetic ingredients convert UV rays into heat and conduct it through the skin which may increase the skins sensitivity to heat. Mineral Oils may also be used which can clog the pores and create sweat secretion also known as prickly heat. In order to become effective, many SPF’s take between 20-30 minutes in order to seep into the layers of your skin. Not only this but the chemical substances used are usually Oxybenzone and Octinoxate which have been linked to the damage of coral reefs through water pollution.

Mineral ingredients of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide used by ORGANii create a shield to reflect rays back off the skin.


ORGANii offers a certified organic & natural, vegan friendly range of personal care products for the whole family. View ORGANii’s complete, sun skin care set and product line up at .

For more skin care updates follow @ORGANiiUK on Twitter and Facebook .

See Also:
Are Sun Creams All Equal?

Here Comes The Sun: Stay Safe In The Sun

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