How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 343

How does suntan lotion work to prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging your skin?
Suntan lotion (or rather sunscreen) is a chemical whose molecules absorb ultraviolet light and turn its energy into heat. Like fluorescent compounds, these molecules absorb ultraviolet light strongly. But unlike fluorescent compounds, the sunscreen molecules do not reemit any light. They convert all of the ultraviolet light energy into heat, which does no damage to your skin.

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