UV Radiation Goes More Than Skin Deep
May 22, 2015
As the summer months approach, it’s time to stock up on sunscreen to protect our skin from the sizzling summer sun. While trying to protect your skin from UV radiation, you could unknowingly be putting your skin at more risk by using a product with toxic ingredients. These ingredients include Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate (Synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate), parabens, phthalates and fragrances which include synthetic musks. You should also avoid sunscreen sprays and powders as these release toxic particles into the air that can be breathed in, causing unknown health effects or lung irritation. Sunscreen towelettes should also be avoided because they do not give sufficient protection from UV radiation. High SPF sunscreens (50+) are also something to take into consideration as higher SPFs encourage people to stay in the sun longer, thinking the higher number gives them security. In reality, higher SPFs give the same amount of protection as SPF 30.
At Murray Avenue Apothecary, we are proud to offer our new LabNaturals Mineral Sunscreen. It is SPF 30 Zinc Oxide with UVA/UVB protection and does not contain any TOXIC ingredients. Our sunscreen is good enough for humans, the environment and animals. The FDA approved sunscreen agent in this product is the non-nano zinc oxide. However, every ingredient used in this formulation is considered a sunscreen. One ingredient, Red Raspberry Seed oil (Rubus idaeus) is known to contain a high level of EFA's (essential fatty acids) which research shows to be connected with reduction of the effects of oxidative stress in the body. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It may also act as a broad spectrum UVA and UVB shield. Of course, this statement has not been approved by the FDA. If you want heavy protection, leave this lotion thicker and whiter on your skin. If you don't want the white, simply smooth it into the skin for UVA and UVB protection. Remember to apply enough prior to going outside and reapply after being in the water or sweating. Use this in addition to our LabNaturals Daytime Firming Peptide Lotion and Vitamin C 20% Skin Serum as an anti-aging skin aid along with our sunscreen.
Let’s back-track for a minute, and really take a look at UV radiation to better understand our protection from it. Ultraviolet (UV) light is an invisible component of sunlight that not only damages our skin, but also our eyes and our immune system. There are 3 types of UV light, (A, B and C) that are classified based on their wavelength. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and damages skin cells which can cause development of skin cancer later on. UVB is not quite as harsh as UVA, but contributes to reddening of the skin, sunburn, wrinkling, and can sometimes play a part in skin cancer. Putting UVA and UVB together will wreak havoc on your skin, causing synergistic damage. Apart from your skin, UV light can also damage your DNA. This results in wrinkling, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Our body does have a natural way of protecting itself from UV light by producing a pigment called, “melanin”, but we know it as having a “tan”.
UV light is not all bad –It helps the body produce Vitamin D. Sunscreen, despite it being imperative for skin protection, lowers Vitamin D levels that we need for our body. In this case, taking Vitamin D supplements is essential while using sunscreen. Murray Avenue Apothecary has many Vitamin D supplements that can help see you through these summer months, and all year round.
Besides Vitamin D, it is important to be sufficient in other vitamins, minerals and supplements during these months. Antioxidants are an effective tool for mitigating UV radiation damage to the skin as well as Vitamins E and C, which have UV radiation protective effects. In recent studies, supplementation with vitamins C and E was shown to significantly reduce the levels of free radicals inside of cells that had previously been exposed to UVB radiation. At Murray Avenue Apothecary, we offer Vitamin E Oil and our LabNaturals Vitamin C 20% Skin Serum, which you can add to your daily skin care routine as well as our L-Retinol Night Serum (Natural Vitamin A – NOT Retinyl Palmitate) which is a rejuvenating treat for the skin. Another LabNaturals product we offer that may help UV radiation is our Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion. Hyaluronic Acid is another useful tool in protecting and rejuvenating sun-damaged skin. It also has anti-aging effects, by reducing the appearance of wrinkles which can be caused by UV radiation.
In addition to topical solutions and vitamins, Green Tea and Grape Seed are also helpful in protecting the skin. Green tea polyphenols protect cells by blocking UVB-induced free radicals and UVB-induced damage to the cells. One of the polyphenols, (epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG), prevents UVB-induced skin damage by inducing certain proteins that regulate immunity and DNA repair. Grape seed is a botanical that protects against UV damage. In animal studies, supplementation with grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) decreased UVB-induced damage. We offer both Green Tea Extract and Grape Seed Extract at the Apothecary.
Education is the key to UV protection. Knowing where and how UV radiation affects the body will only aid you further in protection. UV radiation goes so much deeper than just the skin, and there are a number of ways to protect yourself besides standard sunscreen. So, when you go out shopping for your sunscreen, make sure supplements and vitamins are on your list, and stop into Murray Avenue Apothecary. We’ll help you with all your summer protection needs for you, your family, and also your pet. Get educated, get proactive, and stay healthy this summer!
To Your Health,
1) Barker, Jason E., ND. "UV Radiation: Protection from the Damaging Effects of Sunlight." Vitamin Research News 1 June 2010: 6-7. Print.
2) Mercola, Dr. Joseph. "Some of the Most Toxic Sunscreens and Safer Options." Mercola.com. 4 June 2014. Web. 18 May 2015.