UV Rays make skin un-Happy





See below for 7 Frequently asked Q & A's to find out just why UV Rays make skin un-Happy!

1) What are UV rays?

In simple terms, UV rays (ultraviolet radiation) are invisible wavelengths of electromagnetic energy (light) made from the sun. Wavelengths in general can be visible (light) or invisible (microwave) depending on how short or long the wavelength is. UV rays care shorter wavelengths that can also be emitted from specialized human made electric lights, which are found in light bulbs including tanning and nail lamps light bulbs.

UV rays are the major reason for many skin cancers and aging of the skin due to the UV rays damaging DNA.

1a) They are 3 main types of UV rays:

  • UVA rays (A=Aging)- UVA rays  damage skin cells and can damage their DNA. These long wave rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer. They linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Most tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA, which has been found to increase skin cancer risk.

  • UVB rays (B=Burning)- UVB rays can directly damage skin cells’ DNA, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. These medium waves are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.

  • UVC rays- UVC rays are short waves that are completely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere, so they don’t get through our atmosphere and are not in sunlight.


2) What does UPF mean? And what is the difference between UPF and SPF?

The units for UV ray protection are called UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). A UPF rating tells you what amount of UV rays can penetrate through fabric. Happy Hands UV Nail glove with a UPF of 40, for example, allows just 1/40th of UV rays to reach the hand.

UPF is the sun protective factor used for fabrics whereas SPF (Sun Protective Factor) is used for sunscreens. Both UPF and SPF measure sunburn protection. One difference between UPF ratings and SPF ratings is that UPF measures both UVB and UVA radiation blocked.  Whereas SPF is a measurement of UVB radiation only.

3) How do UV rays damage the skin?

UV rays damage the skin because they damage the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth leading to skin mutations that cause skin cancer. UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging), but until recently scientists believed it did not cause significant damage in areas of the epidermis (outermost skin layer) where most skin cancers occur. Studies over the past two decades, however, show that UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.


UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin's DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.

Tanning booths and nail lamps primarily emit UVA. The high-pressure sunlamps emit doses of UVA as much as 12 times that of the sun. Not surprisingly, people who use tanning salons are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin's more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day.


Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have identified UV (both natural and artificial) as a proven human carcinogen.

4) Are artificial UV rays emitted from tanning & nail lamp lights bad for my skin? What about UV vs LED lights?

Yes, the facts already discussed above back this up. The need for sun safety has become clearer over the past 30 years. Studies show that exposure to UV rays (artificial and natural) can cause skin cancer. Harmful rays from the sun—and from sunlamps and tanning beds—may also cause eye problems, weaken your immune system, and give you skin spots, wrinkles, or "leathery" skin.

4aThe FDA has not made statements about LED nail lamps, however studies and articles show that most LED light bulbs are not harmful to the skin. However, the issues of most concern the eye due to the toxic effect of blue light and the risk of glare. And adding the blue light necessary to obtain white LEDs causes "toxic stress" to the retina.

Even so, some LED lamps/light bulbs may emit UV light as modern LEDs are available across the visible, ultraviolet (UV), and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness.

5) Is tanning my skin bad as long as I don't burn or freckle?

Sun damage to the body is caused by invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation. People recognize sunburn as a type of skin damage caused by the sun. Tanning is also a sign of the skin reacting to potentially damaging UV radiation by producing additional pigmentation that provides it with some—but often not enough—protection against sunburn. A tan is your skin trying to protect you from harmful rays and a sunburn/freckles is the noticeable skin damage that can be seen. A sunburn and freckles simply means your damaged skin cells simply couldn't protect you. Tanning also causes the skin to lose elasticity and wrinkle prematurely. This leathery look may not show up until many years after you’ve had a tan or sunburn.


6) What conditions can increase skin sensitivity & risks of UV ray damage?

a) Genetics. The FDA published the following guide to skin types:



s of Sun History



Always burns easily, never tans, extremely sun sensitive skin

Red-headed, freckles, Irish/Scots/Welsh


Always burns easily, tans minimally, very sun-sensitive skin

Fair-skinned, fair-haired, blue or green-eyed, Caucasians


Sometimes burns, tans gradually to light brown, sun-sensitive skin

Average/mix skin


Burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown, minimally sun-sensitive skin

Mediterranean-type Caucasians


Rarely burns, tans well, sun-insensitive skin

Middle Eastern, some Hispanics, some African-Americans


Never burns, deeply pigmented, sun-insensitive skin



7) How do I best protect my skin from UV rays & keep it HAPPY?

Whatever our skin color, we're all potentially susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation. An overall UV protection strategy includes the use of sunscreen, wearing US tested UV-protective clothing and limiting the amount of time you expose yourself to UV radiation.



1) American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2014. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. 2014.

Buser, Pierre A.; Imbert, Michel (1992). Vision. MIT Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-262-02336-8. Retrieved 11 October 2013. "Light is a special class of radiant energy embracing wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm (or mμ), or 4000 to 7000 Å."

1a) "ISO 21348 Definitions of Solar Irradiance Spectral Categories."

2) American Cancer Society. Sun and UV Exposure. Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. 2014.

3) Epstein, John H., MD, and Stephen Q. Wang, MD. "Skin Cancer Foundation." Understanding UVA and UVB. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2014.

4) "U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Indoor Tanning Raises Risk of Melanoma: FDA Strengthens Warnings for Sunlamp Products. N.p., 29 May 2014. Web. 10 July 2014.

4a) "Light and Human Health: LED Risks Highlighted." - LEDs. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2014.

5) "For Consumers." Sun Safety: Save Your Skin! U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 29 May 2014. Web. 10 July 2014.

6) "For Consumers." Sun Safety: Save Your Skin! U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 29 May 2014. Web. 10 July 2014.

7) "For Consumers." Sun Safety: Save Your Skin! U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 29 May 2014. Web. 10 July 2014.



UV nail lamp informational news.....




The Washington Post

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Medical Daily


The Stylelist

The Dermatology Blog

CBC News

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Ladies are you protected?

We've been gel/shellac nail junkies since 2014. We started to wonder if UV ray and LED nail lamps were damaging to our skin. To our surprise, and after lots of research, we found out that yes indeed our beautiful, shiny manicure and pedicure that was drying under the lamps was damaging our skin. So that's where the creation of Happy Hands, our first product by Happy Products began. Knowledge is power. Shield your skin from UV rays that cause premature aging and skin damage. We even wear ours when driving our car on a sunny day. We wish we would have known this years ago, but its never too late. 


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