SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Young woman applying a sunscreen. Sunscreens are preparations used to protect the skin from the dangerous effects of the ultraviolet radiation present in the sunlight. The ultraviolet radiation may destroy cells in the outer layers of the skin and repeated overexposure causes its premature aging and may also increase the risk of skin cancer. Most sunscreens protect the skin by absorbing the ultraviolet radiation. In these the typical compound used is the para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Other sunscreens reflect the sun's rays and use compounds such as titanium dioxide.
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