Sun Protection Factors and Professional Cosmetics
Sun spots, freckles, pigmentation and wrinkles: these various forms of damage are the problems most commonly treated by the institute’s beauticians. They share a common factor: their appearance is accelerated as a result of exposure to the sun. The longer we are exposed to the sun, the greater the damage caused to skin cell DNA. Simply put, it is vital that our skin is protected, and that each skin type is provided with the appropriate type of protection.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 90 percent of our skin’s signs of aging are caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) electromagnetic radiation. UV radiation can come from natural sources such as the sun, or from artificial sources such as tanning beds. UV is very high energy which can cause skin damage due to long term exposure, especially in a sunny country like Israel. The longer our cumulative exposure, the greater the accrued damage to skin cell DNA. Research shows that cells "store" the damage, such that even if it occurred at a young age, it manifests when we are older. Damage may be in the form of pigmentation, sun spots, freckles, and wrinkles.
UV rays are classified according to wavelength: UVA (longest waves), UVB (medium waves), and UVC (shortest waves).
How do UVA rays affect the skin?
- Although they have the longest wavelength, their energy level is the weakest of the three types.
- Unlike UVC rays, they are not absorbed by the ozone layer. About 95% of the rays reaching us at ground level are UVA.
- UVA rays can penetrate clouds and even windows.
- UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin than the UVB rays. UVA can reach the dermis (the layer below the epidermis). This means that they can affect cells deep in the skin.
- UVA rays affect our skin at the immediate and the long lasting levels.
- Prolonged exposure causes direct damage to skin cell DNA, may cause changes to certain genes, and can generate inflammation-promoting components.
- These damaging impacts can lead to the destruction of important skin structures and components including the skin proteins collagen and elastin, to lipids (fats) vital to skin nourishment, and to hyaluronic acid which is essential for water retention in the skin.
- The result of ongoing UVA radiation is early aging of the skin. Visible consequences of early skin aging include wrinkles, spots, and pigmentation. UVA rays are also associated with certain types of cancer.
How do UVB rays affect the skin?
- They have a medium strength wavelength.
- They are partially absorbed by the ozone layer, but 5% of UV radiation reaching the earth is UVB.
- They do not penetrate glass, and most of their radiation is filtered by clouds.
- They penetrate the epidermis (the outer skin layer) and are absorbed by it.
- They affect the skin immediately. UVB radiation is the primary factor causing skin to redden and / or burn following excessive sun exposure.
- These rays may damage or even destroy epidermis cell DNA.
- Most tanning beds use a combination of UVA and UVB radiation. Some are based on UVB radiation alone. While presented as safe, they can damage the skin.
How do UVC rays affect the skin?
- UVC rays wavelength is the shortest and their energy is the strongest. This makes them far more dangerous than UVA and UVB waves, and may severely damage all life forms.
- This radiation is fortunately completely filtered by the ozone layer. It does not penetrate the atmosphere and reach the ground.
Generators of Damage
The most critical generators of damage in UV radiation are the free radicals. Although these molecules are produced naturally in our body continually, various factors such as air pollution, unhealthy nutrition, stress and to a large measure sun radiation, accelerate their production.
Cumulative impacts over the years lead to multi-system damage to the skin: from the epidermis to the dermis, and in all cell types. First to be damaged are the epidermal keratinocyte cells whose function is to protect the skin from penetration of foreign elements. Next in line are the Langerhans cells, of great importance to the skin's immune system; fibroblast cells, which produce collagen and elastin; and melanocytes, producers of melanin (the skin color).
Damage to cells begins in the unsaturated fatty acids from which cell membranes are structured. Consequently, the entire cell is damaged, including the mitochondria (the cells' powerhouses), cell proteins, and nucleic acids that make up the skin cell DNA.
How can you help your client protect her skin from these harmful processes?
In recent years, increasing amounts of evidence on damages caused by UVA and UVB radiation has accumulated. Since UVA radiation may take less time to damage the skin than UVB radiation, protective products for multiple wavelengths including UVA and UVB waves are the current recommendation. It is vital that the product presents its SPF.
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect the skin by filtering radiation. It is defined as the ratio between the dosage of radiation causing redness and burning to skin protected by a sunscreen, compared to the amount of radiation causing identical damage to skin without a sunscreen.
Professional skin protection products are immensely important. They take into account the type and color of the skin as well as the duration of sun exposure.
Most health authorities and skin doctors recommend using sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher. The preparation should be applied 15-30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and reapplied during exposure. Light-skinned people have an increased risk of skin damage. People with light or very light skin tone who burn easily and usually tan very little or not at all should opt for sunscreen with SPF50.
The Sunbrella Line of HL Cosmetic Laboratories
Sunbrella is a line of products developed by HL Cosmetic Laboratories to maximize skin protection from the two types of destructive radiation– UVA and UVB. Sunbrella offers sunscreens with SPF 30 and SPF 50. These screens additionally incorporate a physical sun blocker. Sunbrella products comply with Israel Ministry of Health standards and the European standard.
The line includes:
- Sunbrella SPF 30. Moisturizing protection lotion for the treatment and prevention of sunlight radiation. The product is intended for daily treatment and combines UVA and UVB radiation filters. It is absorbed by the skin and leaves it soft and pleasant.
- Sunbrella Demi Makeup SPF 30. Moisturizing lotion with make-up, this product combines UVA and UVB radiation filters to protection from solar radiation. It is readily absorbed, blends with the natural skin tone, and leaves the skin soft and pleasant.
- Sunbrella SPF 50+. A moisturizing sunscreen that provides high protection against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. In addition, the cream contains Vitamin E, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to slow skin aging while boosting hyaluronic acid to improve the skin's texture and infuse it with a healthy radiant appearance.
- Sunbrella Demi Makeup SPF 50+. Moisturizing makeup sunscreen providing high protection against harmful UVA and UVB radiation. The cream contains Vitamin E, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to slow skin aging while boosting hyaluronic acid to improve the skin's texture and infuse it with a healthy radiant appearance.
- These sunscreens are also marketed in a compact "To Go" size of 50 mls making them handy and perfect for your purse, bag or backpack.