Understanding the sun

| November 25, 2020

Sunshine is glorious but not withstanding it remains a potentially highly destructive force on the dermis. Sun exposure is part and parcel of living in sunny South Africa, we encourage you to continue enjoying it, safely.

Preventing unnecessary over-exposure is the #1 action you can take to preserve healthy skin and stop accelerated ageing.

Ray Basics

UV radiation is subdivided into UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC and UVB rays are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer. UVC light is minimal and rarely reaches your skin. The UVB rays which do reach your epidermis – are absorbed in this topmost level of skin; they are responsible for unsightly and painful sunburn and can lead to cancer. UVA rays on the other hand are not absorbed by ozone; these rays penetrate deeper inside dermal layers. UVA rays can create symptoms of premature ageing and can also contribute to the development of skin cancer.

UVB Rays – Strength of rays varies by time of day and season. Burns dermal layers in as little as 15 minutes of exposure. Generally, affects the uppermost layers of the dermis most heavily. Capable of changing DNA within skin cells.

  • Results in an inflammatory tissue reaction
  • Damages cells dramatically
  • Accelerates ageing
  • Leading cause of skin cancers

UVA Rays – Reaches skin through clouds (and glass) all year long. Penetrates into lower layers of skin i.e. basal layer. Accounts for over 95% of UV radiation that reaches us. Serious and main contributor to the appearance of visible and premature ageing on skin.

  • Creates lines and wrinkles
  • Causes proliferation of free radicals which can wreak havoc within skin
  • Makes uneven pigmentation issues and spots

Two Symptoms of ‘too much Sun’

It is important to keep in mind that the visible outcomes of too much sun take time to appear. While a sunburn might be apparent on the same day – the ageing effects of a particular sunburn or the consequences of forgoing sunscreen take seasons to appear. What many individuals experience as a ‘quickening’ or increase in visible ageing in their 30’s and beyond is in fact, the evidence of cumulative sun damage surfacing. The fact that the rate of cellular turnover slows and that Collagen and Elastin stores become depleted – doesn’t help either.

Let us look at two signs of ageing, how UV precipitates them, how to defend against them, and how to treat them.

1. Sunspots & Uneven Pigmentation

Mechanism of Action – Genetics determine the quantity of Melanin within an individual’s skin. Melanin acts as a natural defence against harmful UV rays. Regardless of Melanin’s innate helpful qualities it can not withstand the sun’s onslaught indefinitely (individuals with fairer skin will suffer soonest). Regardless of whether you tan or not; repeated exposure of bare unprotected skin should be avoided at all costs due to the risk of developing Skin Cancer.

A minor consequence of sun exposure is an increase in Melanin production. However, uneven pigmentation concentrations i.e. sunspots, also known as a ‘liver spots’ are the consequence of damage from the sun to these specific Melanin producing cells.

Prevent & Protect – Safeguard exposed skin with a daily application of an SPF which covers both UVA and UVB rays; thereby keeping melanin production at bay and preventing damage to melanin cells. Consider investing in a homecare product with active ingredients that are proven to support damaged skin to recovery.

Treat and ReverseChemical Peels are an appropriate aesthetic treatment capable of addressing pigmentation concerns. Through the mechanism of Exfoliation, they stimulate Cellular Turnover and thus assist the skin in ‘turning-over’ melanin cells to uncover fresh dermal cells for an even and bright complexion.

2. Wrinkles & Lines

Mechanism of Action – UV rays that enter skin layers can disrupt and destroy vital connective tissue within the dermal matrix. This has the direct effect of dehydrating and thickening the skin, hastening skin laxity, decreasing volume, and allowing for veins to become visible.

UV rays can also interrupt biological function on a cellular level. Free radicals are increased and up the ante of interference with correct function. Together this slows restorative processes and erodes dermal qualities that are essential to the skin’s self-healing and restorative abilities.

Prevent & Protect – Select an SPF product appropriate for fragile and sensitive facial skin, the neck, and decolletage. Consider cosmeceuticals with SPF protection built in. Don’t neglect the backs of your hands which are often left unguarded and are highly susceptible to ageing effects of the sun.

Treat and Reverse – Deliver hydration deep within the skin layers to restore and optimize moisture levels. Boost Collagen and Elastin production to build back critical skin-firming structures within. Add and retain volume with assistance from Hyaluronic Acid. Explore the following anti-ageing aesthetic procedures:

Give your skin some love this summer season. Stock-up via our Online Shop .

SAI Skincare Specialists

Now that you know how UV acts within the skin; you can take proactive steps to protect skin from today onwards. The team at SAI supports and encourages individuals to practice Prejuvenation.

We recommend a healthy homecare routine with broad-spectrum SPF & a moisturizer. If you would like to target a specific skin condition &/ aesthetic concern, please speak with one of our SAI Therapists to select an appropriate non-surgical aesthetic treatment(s).

Click here for SAI’s Contact Page or contact us now on 011 886 6113 / 060 718 2178

Category: News

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