If the importance of sun protection is considered common knowledge, then why are there still so many out there who don't wear it on a daily basis?
The most common complaint about sun protection is the way it feels. Sun protection is commonly thought of as the chalky, pasty, white, thick, greasy and downright unpleasant products that we should wear, but don't because of how they react on our skin. Often times sun protection clogs pores and causes irritation. And while the cosmetic and health benefits of wearing sun protection anytime we are exposed to daylight should be enough for us to put up with the things we don't like about it, it's obviously not, because sun protection is still not considered by most as a mandatory part of the skin care regimen. Clients want a product that not only protects them from Ultraviolet (UV) rays, but feels good and actually helps treat and improve the condition of their skin. If they could get this kind of product - one that blocks the sun and treats the skin - then maybe skin cancer statistics would not be so high, or so likely to increase in the future.Skin, The Ultimate Record Keeper
Skin is an excellent record keeper. Every moment we are exposed to daylight adds up like money in the bank - the problem is the payoff; namely skin damage in the form of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and premature aging, a repressed immune system and the potential for skin cancer. Over one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year. Even more staggering is the fact that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, and 90% of these cancers will be the result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
While statistics are not readily available for every country in the world, where we do have information, it appears this is a global phenomenon. For example, the number of reported cases has more than doubled in the past 20 years and over 2,000 people die from skin cancer each year in the United Kingdom. This globally expansive issue reinforces the belief that the best defense is to limit daylight exposure and protect skin with sunscreen at all times.The Damaging Effects of Daylight Exposure
It is important to acknowledge that any time spent in the daylight counts as time when your skin is exposed to the sun. Daylight exposure is as damaging to skin as tanning, as skin is still being exposed to sunlight, which is comprised of varying wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (often referred to as the electromagnetic spectrum). About 35% of the spectrum is called visible (able-to-be-seen) light, 60% is in the infrared range (felt as heat) and 5% is made up of ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is this entire ultraviolet range that we much concern ourselves with as skin care professionals.
UVA rays (the aging rays) are the longest rays in the spectrum, and they penetrate deeper into the skin. UVA rays are responsible for causing damage at the cellular level, making them responsible for most skin cancers and the cause of the signs of aging in the form of wrinkles and pigment spots. UVB rays (the burning rays) are shorter than UVA rays, and are responsible for the actual “burn” or “tan” response in skin. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause cancer, so wearing an SPF that shields skin against both is critical.
Ultraviolet rays generate free radicals (molecules that have gained or lost an electron) that wreak havoc on cellular material. They are capable of altering not only the DNA (genetic material of all living cells) but may also affect membranes surrounding skin cells, destroy or alter enzymes and proteins required for cellular metabolism and affect amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Free radicals can ultimately result in the formation of sun-induced skin cancers.
Fortunately, our bodies are constantly trying to repair the damage of this vicious free radical assaults. While our body's defense system is repairing damaged sites, our cells are releasing the by-products of this assault and repair process. The skin's inflammatory response may be seen initially as erythem (redness of the skin) which results from dilation of blood vessels in the dermis as a response to the cell damage and repair process.
Erythema generally appears two to six hours after exposure to daylight; the degree of redness is an indication of damage to the skin inflicted by the sun. Erythema is also used as a measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen to absorb UVB rays and is measured by its sun protection factor (SPF). Factors affecting erythema include the amount of pigmentation in the skin, the ease of burning of the individual and the skin's resistance to tanning. While scientists are still trying to understand the different effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin, they do know that the most effective rays for generating erythema in skin are attributed to the UVB rays. For this reason, UVB are often referred to as the burning rays.
Following the initial erythema or sunburn, the skin response by proliferating cell production and producing melanin, which gives the appearance of at an. Melanin granules are housed in mealanosomes that are formed in melanocyte cells, which are dispersed among the basal cell layer, or the Stratum germinativum cells. There is one melanocyte cell for every 36 keratinocytes or epidermal cells. Melanin-containing melanosomes are injected into cells that are in close proximity to the parent melanocyte; the melanosomes move the cells as the process of keratinization occurs and the cell moves toward the outermost Stratum corneum layer. When melanin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, there is an immediate response that triggers the melanocyte to move melanosomes toward the surrounding cells. This is followed by an increase in melanin biosynthesis, and some researchers even say, and increase in the number of melanocytes. As a result, skin becomes darker and the tanning process has occurred.How SPFs Work
Sunscreens work by absorbing damaging ultraviolet rays (chemical sunscreens) or by reflecting and scattering ultraviolet rays (physical sunscreens).
Physical sunscreens (such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Dioxide) have increased in popularity as consumers grow more concerned about the potential irritancy factor of chemical sunscreens. With this increase in popularity has also come a focus on improving the technology of these physical sunscreens in order to make more sophisticated, non-whitening products.
The SPF represents the ability of a sunscreen to delay sun-induced burning or erythema. It is important to realize that an SPF is only a measure of how much UVB protection a product provides. Unfortunately, a similar system of denoting sunscreen protection from UVA radiation has not been universally recognized.
Skin Without Sunscreen
|How It Works:|
| || || || |
|Each UV Smart Booster |
an active complex of
vitamins C and E.
|Upon application, the |
UV Smart Booster
remains inactive on
|When the UVA and UVB |
rays(ultraviolet light) strike
skin, the UV Smart
releasing the vital
vitamins onto skin.
|This provides enhanced|
radical protection and
maximum solar defense
against the sun's rays
any time skin is exposed
Skin is susceptible to collagen and elastin breakdown, leading to premature aging, DNA damage caused by free radicals and hypo- and hyperpigmentation.Generic Over-the-Counter Sunscreen
Skin is protected from UV rays but is still susceptible to free radical damage. Formulas are often comedogenic (clogs pores), contain artificial ingredients and fragrance, and feel uncomfortable on skin. Often do not contain ingredients that are beneficial to the health of skin or offer treatment for specific skin conditions.Dermalogica Solar Defense System featuring UV Smart Booster Technology
Skin is protected against UVA rays, UVB rays and free radical damage. Non-comedogenic formulas are free of artificial fragrance and colore, and are more like skin treatment products with optimal feel and performance. State-of-the-are ingredients treat each skin condition, providing optimal skin care benefits.
It is important to understand that, even though you may be using a sunscreen, some UVB rays will still penetrate through skin. For example, an SPF 2 product protects your skin from 50% of the UVB rays, so you can stay in the sun twice as long as you would be able to without protection. An SPF 8 blocks 87.5% of the rays, leaving 12.5% to penetrate and burn your skin. An SPF 15 blocks 93.33% of UVB rays. And finally, an SPF 30 blocks 96.6% of UVB rays.
While it may seem that a product with an SPF higher than 30 would offer a dramatically increased protection rate from UVB rays, it is mostly comprised of an increased level of sunscreen chemicals, which only cause a higher rate of irritation in skin, and provide no significant increase in the amount of UVB protection.
Sunscreen ingredients that absorb and protect against UVB rays include Homosalate, Octinoxate and Octisalate. Others, like Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone), Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide absorb or reflect dangerous UVB rays and the more energetic portions (the shorter wavelengths) of the UVA spectrum. Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Avobenzone (also known by its trade name, Parsol 1789) or Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane absorb the highest portion of UVA radiation.Proper Application for Maximum Coverage
In order to achieve the extra daylight protection, going from SPF 15 to SPF 30, the concentration of sunscreen ingredient in the product has to be doubled. This, in turn, increases the potential for skin irritation and sensitivity from the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens. For clients with sunscreen sensitivity, recommend non-chemical sunscreens (i.e. products formulated with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide) when desiring and SPF greater than 15. If you client does not experience skin irritation or sensitivity, the recommendation of chemical sunscreen is fine.
Most importantly, when you use the sunscreen, make sure you apply an adequate amount to ensure you are getting the desired SPF. That's generally about one teaspoon for the face and a full ounce (approximately 1/8 cup) for complete body coverage. Also, reapply sunscreen whenever you swim, exercise or sweat profusely. In this case the old adage holds true…if a little is good, more must be better.Introducing Dermalogica's new Solar Defense System and UV smart Booster Technology
The consumer demand for more out of their sunscreen products has fueled research into new technology in sunscreen ingredients. New types of dispersions of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide allow us to formulate sunscreen products that no longer require the use of Iron Oxides to overcome the intense whiteness of these physical sunscreens. In addition, improvements to chemical sunscreens have enabled us to create formulas that have a more elegant feel and texture to them. In the past sunscreens limited our ability to make formulas as elegant as skin treatment products. With this new technology, however, sunscreen products can finally be made more like skin treatment products that offer the benefit of sunscreen protection without sacrificing feel or performance.
On the research front, scientists have discovered ways to enhance sun protection for skin without the use of additional sunscreens. New techniques developed at the University of Illinois have lead to studies on the use of antioxidant with sunscreens to measure photoprotection of skin. These studies indicate that when antioxidants (Vitamin C and Vitamin E) are formulated with sunscreen agents, protection against both UV-induced sunburn and free radicals in the epidermis and dermis is enhanced. While test results are promising, the challenge is how to maintain activity of the antioxidants to optimize their effect on skin.
We have studied this phenomenon at The International Dermal Institute and have combined this new research and technology into the development of the new Solar Defense System that effectively address specific skin conditions. Two new Solar Defense System formulas for the body provide maximum protection from daylight exposure and four of our new Solar Defense System products provide enhanced photoprotection for the face.
We have incorporated antioxidants into the products via UV Smart booster Technology, a customized microcapsule technology that safeguards active vitamins then releases them upon contact with UV rays (anytime skin is exposed to daylight) for maximum free radical protection. The DNA microcapsule contains an active ingredient complex of Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Vitamin C) and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) that is triggered to release the antioxidants when exposed to ultraviolet light. This provides enhanced photoprotection, free radical protection and maximum solar defense against the sun's rays when it is needed most.