Is your skin screaming for HELP when you hit the beach and work on that tan?
Which is why we have researched this and wanted to briefly share our information with you about the different types of UV radiation and natural ways to protect yourself from it. It is important info that may litterally “save your skin” or at least give you a chance to keep looking younger for longer. So before you and your family go on holiday you may want to read the short text below.
Waiting for the waves to hit the beach? – “don't worry”, UVA and UVB waves are coming to you ...anywhere!
Anyway, the classical interpretation of these different types of UV radiation states that UVA rays will have an ageing effect on skin, while UVB radiation will have a burning effect on the skin. In addition, the classical view is that UVB is bad and UVA is less bad.
HOWEVER, more recent scientific research demonstrates that UVA as well as UVB can both cause cancer and that UVA has perhaps other worrying and harmful features that weren't appreciated before. Please note that for healthy skin we only need to concern ourselves with the UV spectrum that ranges from 290 to 400 nm given that extreme UV (10 – 100 nm) and UVC (100 to 290 nm) are filtered out by the ozone layer (i.e. generally speaking, UVA and UVB exposure are of concern in the context of maintaining healthy skin).
First of all, UVA is able to penetrate much deeper into your skin where it can affect healthy skin cells (UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin’s thickest layer called the dermis, as can be seen in figure 2). Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging while it can even cause suppression of the immune system. This is actually critical, because when your skin’s defenses are down, you expose yourself to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Also, UVA makes up approximately 95% of all the UV radiation that you will be exposed to (even during cloudy days when you cannot actually see the sun). This is due to the fact that UVA pentrates glass as well as water. This means that UVA is very constant during the day even on a cloudy day as it is able to go right through clouds, unlike UVB.
UVB rays make up approximately 5% of all the UV radiation that you will be exposed to. UVB will usually burn or affect the superficial layers of your skin, which mostly consists of already dead skin cells called keratinocytes. The intensity of UVB radiation will vary by location, season as well as the time of day (between 10:00 h to 16:00 h are more or less the peak hours). It is important to note that sunburned skin isn't just uncomfortable, it can actually cause permanent damage over time.
As Baz Luhrman proclaims in his speech / song to the ladies and gentlemen of the class of 1999; “Wear sunscreen!” ...but will you really benefit from it?
Unfortunately, not all sunscreen (or SPF facial creams for that matter) is created equally! Based on the classical interpretation of UV dangers, a potentially damaging focus on one factor in evaluating the potential of sunscreens (i.e. Sun Protection Factor (SPF)), has unfortunately blinded the general population to other equally important factors. SPF is assessed by its ability to inhibit erythema 24 hours after exposure of the skin to UV light. The problem with the SPF system is that longer wavelength UV is less effective in inducing erythema (i.e. when compared with UVB, approximately 1000 times more UVA is needed to induce the same level of erythema).
However, it is now known that UVA generates oxygen and hydroxyl-free radicals, which can not only cause damage to cellular proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, but also cause damage to DNA, and your immune system, which eventually may lead to cancer (without causing erythema). As such, SPF does NOT offer protection against the harmful effects of UVA irradiation.
Please note that the vast majority of sunscreen products (as well as facial creams) only provide protection against UVB and / or limited protection against UVA. In addition, many of these sunscreens obtain their SPF "credentials" through the use of chemically synthesized ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octyldimethyl PABA, and Octyl methoxy-cinnamate, etc...
To exacerbate the issue even further, these compounds are often found to be problematic in terms of their stability (for example, sunscreens with Octyldimethyl PABA as the active ingredient may produce indirect DNA damage, after absorbing UVB rays. Hence, when you buy your next sunscreen products you may want to keep an eye out for next generation sunscreen compounds that include highly effective, natural and stable Mycosporine-like Amino Acids (MAAs) such as Porphyra-334 and Shinorine.
Note: Paeon Laboratories does NOT use synthetic or Nano-Particles in their facial creams. Paeon actually uses all natural MAAs isolated from red Macroalgae Porphyra umbilicalis.
We do not manufacture sunscreen products at this point (if we did, it would probably be the best sunscreen in the world!). However, we do supply facial creams that contain Porphyra-334 and Shinorine; these can be found here.
Are you SPF and UVA ready for the summer?
In case you need more encouragement, please read below 2 small paragraphs from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
“The incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past decades. Currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer and, according to Skin Cancer Foundation Statistics, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
As ozone levels are depleted, the atmosphere loses more and more of its protective filter function and more solar UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface. It is estimated that a 10 per cent decrease in ozone levels will result in an additional 300,000 non-melanoma and 4,500 melanoma skin cancer cases. The global incidence of melanoma continues to increase – however, the main factors that predispose to the development of melanoma seem to be connected with recreational exposure to the sun and a history of sunburn. These factors lie within each individual's own responsibility.”