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UV Radiation and DNA Damage: The Science of Healthy Skin

We all know that unprotected sun exposure is never a good thing for your skin. But do you know exactly how deep UV damage runs in the skin and what long-term implications it can have on the health and appearance of your complexion. We sit down with ZO expert clinician and founder of Clinic 1.6, Dr Raul Cetto to explore the science behind UV radiation and its effects on the skin.

DNA, skin DNA, uv radiation, DNA damage, skincare healthy skin

•  How exactly does UV radiation affect our skin?

Dr Cetto: Regular exposure to UV radiation essentially causes chronic inflammation of the skin. Inflammation weakens the skins immunity and impedes cell function – in particular it reduces Langerhan cell count. The  Langerhan cells belong to the skin immune system and help to remove pathogens and repair mutated cells. Regular exposure to UV rays mutates our DNA and because our defence is hampered, the skin is unable to repair these mutated cells. The results of this can include discolouration, sensitivity, accelerated skin ageing and, potentially, skin cancer. All of these problems result from DNA mutations which disturb the cells’ normal functionality.

• So, we can attribute all of our skin woes to sun damage?

Dr CettoDNA mutations caused by UV radiation can cause many types of cells to function abnormally or develop in a mutated form. Discolouration can occur due to abnormally functioning melanocytes, or due to the present of their mutated forms. Dryness and roughness can be caused by dysfunctional keratinocytes making abnormally hard keratin and allowing increased water loss. Sensitivity is caused by barrier function disruption and reduced cell turnover. Redness can occur due to due to injured blood vessels and a leathery texture can develop due to dysfunctional collagen and elastin, which also causes deep folds and wrinkles in later years. Most importantly, mutation of the DNA of the cells in the skin is how skin cancers develop.

• Can the damage be repaired?

Dr Cetto: Once damaged by UV radiation, the DNA in skin cells  will affect normal skin function negatively. This damage can be limited by increasing your tolerance to UV radiation with ZO’s sun protection, formulated with melanin which enhances skin’s ability  to renew itself and the proper use of sunscreen. The new technologies found in the ZO range, for example in Daily Power Defense, can help repair damaged DNA and restore normal cellular function.

How can you incorporate DNA repair in your daily skincare routine?

Pile on the Antioxidants

daily power defense, uv radiation, DNA damage, DNA repair

The skin’s repair capacity and barrier function can be reinforced by using product rich in antioxidants, DNA repair enzymes, fractionated lipids, and anti-inflammatories. Agents that repair elastin, collagen and keratin should also be used to improve regeneration.  Our award-winning skin restorer Daily Power Defense stimulates collagen production and uses a blend of powerful enzymes that encourages cellular activity to aid DNA repair and offset damage caused by pollutants.

Get Serious About SPF

All sunscreens, regardless of the labelled SPF, can protect your skin for a maximum of 90 minutes. After that, they wipe away, disintegrate or get removed through perspiration. Therefore, you should be strict about reapplying your SPF every two hours and avoid exposure all together when the sun is at its most intense.

Daily-Sheer-spf50, sun protection, DNA damage

Water and perspiration resistant, Daily Sheer SPF 50 delivers powerful protection during outdoor activities. Formulated with skin hydrators and natural nourishing ingredients, Daily Sheer does not only guard your complexion from the harmful UVB/UVA rays but also prevents dryness and supports the natural moisture balance of the skin.

 

 

Free Radicals Beyond the Hype: Everything You Need to Know

Free radicals are the busiest buzzwords in the beauty world, but do you know what exactly are these beauty “devils” are and why they are so harmful to your skin? Here’s everything you need to know:

So, what exactly are free radicals?

free radicals, oxidative stress

Free radicals are extra “packets” of energy, created through our natural metabolic process. We call them “free” because they are not dedicated to any particular biochemical reaction in the body. Free radicals have an unpaired electron in their outer orbital shell which makes them highly reactive and unstable molecules. They penetrate into the interior of other cells, trying to regain their missing electron, and damage whatever cell structure they strike.

Why free radicals are particularly bad for the skin?

free radicals, skin damage

More than 85% of all free radical damage in the body comes from the cells’ own metabolic process. However, the skin is extremely rich in lipids, proteins and DNA which makes it a major target for unstable radicals and especially susceptible to oxidative stress. It is also the body’s first line of defense against environmental factors and as such is exposed to various external sources of free radical damage in addition to cellular metabolism.

Major external sources of free radical damage include:

free radicals, smoking, skin damage

  • UV radiation: skin receives 80% of its free radical damage from sun radiation. The oxygen, contained in the lower levels of the epidermis, is a primary target for UV rays. When UV light waves penetrate the skin, they donate electrons to the oxygen within skin cells, creating a chain of unstable, aggressive free radical molecules.
  • Cigarette smoke: tobacco smoke is critically damaging to all cells and tissues. With every puff, you deliver to your body more than 4 000 toxic chemicals that lead to oxidative stress.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: drinking alcohol increases your levels of cytokines, inflammatory molecules, responsible for excessive free radical production which leads to oxidative stress.
  • Exposure to air pollutants: industrial pollution and allergens increase oxidation in our bodies.

How can I protect my skin from free radicals and prevent oxidative stress?

free radicals protection, antioxidants

When it comes to fighting off free radicals and oxidative stress in the skin, antioxidants are our superheroes. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals before they touch the cell as well as stop ongoing cellular damage.

There is a tricky part though – only 1% of dietary antioxidants reach the surface of the skin. To effectively protect your skin from free radical damage, you need to apply topical antioxidants.

Choose antioxidants wisely for best results

Not all topical antioxidants are created equal. Effective topical antioxidants must be stable and come in the purest form, so they can penetrate the outermost barriers and reach the interior of the cell.

Ossential C-Bright Serum provides a potent dose of 10% pure, stabilised vitamin C that to brighten and re-texture the skin. Vitamin E and co-enzyme Q-10 protect the skin from environmental damage, while lipids and skin conditioners hydrate and support barrier restoration.

 

Ossential Daily Power Defense is formulated with vitamin E, enzymes and ceramides to speed up DNA repair in skin cells and protect against future oxidative damage.

daily power defense, free radicals, antioxidant protection

 

Is Your Smartphone Damaging Your Skin?

There is constant discussion on whether smartphones are detrimental to your emotional and mental health but smartphones could also be harmful to your skin health. Other than the spread of bacteria when you place your phone on your skin, new studies suggest that the HEV light emitted from your phone could cause premature ageing.

HEV light damage

What is HEV Light?

HEV light is short for high energy visible light. It appears blue in colour and is very close to UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum. You are exposed to it from the sun’s rays and from everyday technological gadgets. Mobile phones, computer screens and laptops all produce HEV light.

How Does it Damage the Skin?

It is still not known what exact effect this light has on the skin. However, in susceptible individuals, prolonged chronic exposure to HEV and UV light can lead to non-specific discolouration.  The electromagnetic spectrum can affect the intracellular minerals and their movement out and into the cells. This may lead to cellular dysfunctions.

Dr Obagi explains, “with chronic and long exposure the light from cell phones can cause damage to the texture of the skin. In my experience, I have been able to tell which hand a patient holds their phone in, as the skin takes on a dull, almost dirty texture, which has not been induced by the sun.”

HEV light damage

Ways to Combat HEV Light Damage

Dr Obagi insists that a DNA repairing agent and an antioxidant are necessary to encourage skin’s defence mechanisms against HEV light damage.

“I recommend ZO Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense as it uses DNA repair enzymes to enhance your skin’s recovery capabilities, regulate cellular functions and increases skin tolerance and immunity to UV radiation. Skin needs to be encouraged to defend itself. The special enzymes attach directly to your own DNA molecules and repair oxidative damage. It contains time-released retinol, enzymes and antioxidants to repair damaged cells and protect against future damage.

A new breakthrough: Liposhield HEV Melanin

Melanin occurs naturally in the human body. Melanocytes release it into the skin as the first line of defence against exposure to harmful light waves.  Liposhield HEV Melanin is a novel, patent pending ingredient. It is the first cosmetic ingredient designed to protect the skin from damaging high energy visible light.

Liposhield HEV Melanin is a fractionated melanin designed to be used topically as an additional defence. It shields the skin from high energy blue/violet visible light (HEV) that may induce premature ageing. Red visible light is deemed to have beneficial effects, and Liposhield HEV Melanin is tailored so that red light can be transmitted to the skin.HEV light damage

Dr Zein Obagi elaborates; “we have been able to successfully incorporate this breakthrough ingredient into a novel formulation while maintaining its efficacy. ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 is a highly advanced broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen designed to blend into almost any skin tone. Patented, customisable colour beads utilising a comprehensive UVA/UVB photostable sun protection system helps provide daily protection from damaging ultra violet rays, while fractionated melanin helps shield against HEV light damage. The addition of Vitamin C helps to achieve an even-toned complexion by inhibiting pigment formation, and we have enriched the formulation with skin conditioners to improve skin texture.”

The ZO Skin Health Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 also helps prevent future oxidative stress with DNA repair and protection. It also minimises the irritants that can cause skin redness. It has an exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system to help guard against photo-damage. What’s more, the sunscreen restores hydration with skin conditioners that aid in strengthening the skin barrier.

Dr Obagi believes “that this novel ingredient represents the future of sun protection.”

Always at the cutting edge of science and innovation, Oclipse® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 first launched 5 years ago with this patented and unique ingredient and in 2017 has introduced a new sunscreen the Oclipse® Daily Sheer SPF 50. This is the next step in sun protection shielding skin from HEV light damage, providing broad-spectrum UV protection but also formulated to be recreational-friendly. A non-greasy, perspiration and water-resistant sunscreen that blends seamlessly into the skin as a sheer matte finish. Swim and sweat this summer without worrying about your sunscreen washing away!

Rebecca Newman’s ZO Journey – Week 6: Christmas Party Ready

A success! I attended the GQ Christmas party – rockstars, models etc – and not one flake.

The event was a Friday. On the Tuesday I dropped down to the ZO Essential regime:

Cleanser, Polish, Pads, Daily Power Defense, Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30.

The flaking stopped and revealed the most gloriously radiant skin. Amazing.

A facial with the fabulous Kate Kerr, and I was Christmas party ready (pic below).

christmas party ready

I also stopped by Dr van Eeden who looked at my skin under a lens which showed him how in just a few weeks my pigmentation is visibly less, and how the regeneration of the lower layers of skin is therefore under way.

It is now Monday; I went back on the regime and I am back to skin shedding: as ever, I went a bit hard to start, and the creases by my eyes and mouth smarted so I have pulled back a little (but just a little).

shedding

Dr. Zein Obagi on The Morning Blend