Sun Science


What Is The Sun?

The Sun is a 4.6 billion year old star at the center of our solar system. It provides all of the light and energy needed to support life here on earth and we love the way it makes us feel. The sun is really big, in fact, you could fit over a million earths inside of it. Its also crazy hot, temperatures reach 10,000 degrees fahrenheit on its surface and over 28 million degrees fahrenheit at its core! The Sun is about 93 million miles away from earth and it takes each particle of light, or photon, about 8 minutes to reach the earth. Due to the powerful energy of the sun, these particles of light are what cause damage to our skin. Scientists say that the sun has enough energy to burn for another 5 billion years, so we better stay protected in the meantime. 


The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of harmful rays: long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer.

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Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling, and suppression of the immune system. UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. The intensity of UVB rays vary by season, location and time of day, with 10AM to 2PM being the peak hours.

Check your live local UV Index Here!

SPF Ratings

SPF stands for sun protection factor. Sunscreens are classified by their SPF number which correlates with their ability to block out UVB rays. SPF is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen protected skin versus unprotected skin.

Remember to use sunscreens with a SPF of 30 or more to protect your skin from serious sun damage.

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What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unprepared DNA damage to skin cells trigger a mutation or genetic defect that leads to the cells rapidly multiplying and forming tumors.

While basal and squamous carcinomas are the two most common types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most dangerous. Between 65 and 90 percent of all skin cancers cases are caused by exposure to UV light. 

For more information visit

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Know Your ABC’s

Its important to check your skin for suspicious moles about once a month and to report anything unusual to your health care professional. Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's important to get to know your skin and to be able recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

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