Want Pretty Skin?
Did you know that 80-90% of premature skin aging is the result of sun exposure? The sun's harmful UV rays are the number one cause of wrinkles, age spots, other forms of discoloration, and damaged skin.
In fact, dermatoheliosis is when sun exposure cumulatively damages five major parts of the :
- the epidermis (actinic keratosis)
- dermis (solar elastosis)
- blood vessels (telangiectasia)
- sebaceous glands (solar comedones)
- and melanocytes (diffuse or mottled brown patches)
The consequences of sun exposure are both cosmetic and medical. Cosmetic changes include leathering of the skin, increased wrinkling, and redness. Medical changes include the development of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, the growth of various types of keratoses, and the tendency of sun-damaged skin to get more easily irritated and bruised.
Why Is The Sun So Dangerous?
The sun emits ultraviolet radiation, which causes irreversible DNA damage in the skin that leads to premature aging and skin cancer. UV rays can break down collagen and elastin, two very important proteins that keep skin firm, smooth, and youthful.
There are three kinds of UV light:
- Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength. This form of solar radiation damages skin at all levels—from the surface layer (epidermis) down deep into the dermis. It is associated with skin aging.
- Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength. It is associated with skin burning.
- Ultraviolet C (UVC) has the shortest wavelength and is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere.
UVA and UVB radiation both can penetrate clouds. UVA radiation can pass through glass (windows) while UVB radiation cannot.
What Other Rays Are Harmful?
Now that you understand the dangers behind UVA & UVB radiation, you should also be aware of two other forms of light that also effect your skin. Both of these light rays travel deeper into skin than either UVA or UVB rays and have a multitude of detrimental effects on the skin, including: wrinkles, discoloration, dryness and redness.
High Energy Visible light (HEV), commonly referred to as blue light, is visible to the human eye. HEV light originates with the sun, but is also emitted from the technology we use every day, including smartphones, tablets and computer screens, as well as indoor fluorescent light. HEV light has the potential to cause long-term damage to skin cells in the epidermis and dermis. This has the knock-on effect of causing DNA damage within these cells and break down skin-supporting collagen and elastin. Over time, this results in fine lines, wrinkles, and premature aging.
More than half of the sun’s radiation is Infrared (IRA) which is a longer wavelength than UVA rays and is invisible to the human eye. Intense infrared radiation, or heat, is detrimental to the skin. Heat increases the production of melanocyte pigment within the skin, so it can worsen melasma and other skin pigmentation concerns. IRA produces significant free radicals that cause DNA and structural damage to the skin, contributing to photoaging skin.
How Do Sunscreens Work?
Sunscreen works to reduce the impact that UV radiation has on your skin. But not all sunscreens are created equal.
Sunscreens labelled as "broad spectrum" or "full spectrum" are designed to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Conventional drugstore sunscreens sometimes only protect against UVB rays. You should choose sunscreens that offer more than broad spectrum protection.
ZO SkinHealth offers more protection than you can achieve with typical broad spectrum sunscreens. ZO’s Triple-Spectrum Protection® products go beyond conventional sunscreens with scientifically superior skin defense against the harmful effects of skin-aging UVA and skin-burning UVB, blue light (HEV) and IRA exposure, while providing antioxidants, hydrators and benefits from lipids.
ZO SkinHeatlh offers several choices of physical and chemical filters in sunscreens to provide sun protection barriers that either reflect UVA and UVB rays or convert them to heat to be released by the skin.
Each formulation of ZO SkinHealth Sunscreen also offers innovative and proprietary technology with:
- Plant-derived Melanin helps to protect skin against potentially harmful HEV light (blue light) damage
- Exclusive ZOX12® Complex that provides 12 hours of antioxidant protection against IRA rays as well as other forms of free radical damage
A sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 to 50 will also provide you with better protection from the sun’s rays. Don’t depend on skincare or makeup products that contain minimal SPF, either. Foundations or tinted moisturizers with SPF 15 do provide some measure of sun protection, but it’s not enough to adequately protect your skin from sun damage. It’s best to combine them with an actual sunscreen formulation with at least SPF 30.
More Sun Safety Tips
Protect your skin with clothing, including a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses. Purchase ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) fabric for clothing, awnings and umbrellas. Hats should have a minimum 3-inch brim around the circumference with an attached drape to cover the neck and ears. Window tint and eyewear whould provide 99% or greater blockage of solar UVA and UVB radiation.
Nearly half of UV radiation is emitted between 10am-4 pm, when the sun's rays are the strongest. Even on a cloudy day, you can be sunburned by UV radiation. Seek shade or indoor activitues during the day as much as possible.