If tanned skin absorbs more light, how does it protect against UV rays?


UV-B is a cancer-causing culprit, striking DNA molecules and causing mutations. Luckily we have two chemical defence systems.


When we go outside, we expose ourselves to the most common carcinogen of all: ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight. Most of us know we should apply sunscreen to protect our skin, but some of us forget and suffer a flaky, irritated sunburn in return.

In this video, produced by the American Chemical Society's Reactions team, take a look at how UV rays affect your body and your built-in chemical defence systems that try to stop any potential damage.

(Still, if you can help it, it's better to stay out of the sun, or wear long, flowing clothes, pop on a hat and slather on that sunscreen!)


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