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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.

 

 

Product Spotlight: SPF

Photoageing is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing leading to an increase in fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and pigmentation. Sun damage is cumulative, the damage over the years from daily exposure to UV rays is not always externally visible. Early pigmentation damage occurs within the deeper layers of the skin and becomes more apparent on the surface as we age. The skin loses its ability to repair itself, prohibiting the breakdown and production of collagen, as well as the elasticity of the skin weakening, resulting in leathery and wrinkled skin.

With options for every skin type and lifestyle, ZO Skin Health’s sunscreens provide protection from the harmful effects of the sun while also improving the health of your skin.

Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF 50

  • The combination of UVA and UVB sunscreens offer broad spectrum, photostable sun protection
  • Fractionated melanin goes an extra step to shield against damaging high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Fractionated Melanin provides 6-8 hours of protection rather than the regular 1hr 45 minutes.
  • Fortified with vitamin C to inhibit pigment formation
  • Sheer tint that can be worn alone or as a makeup primer
  • Patented colour bursting beads release a subtle hint of customisable colour and radiance for a healthy glow that compliments any skin tone
  • Anti-redness inhibitors
  • Restores hydration with skin conditioners and skin barrier replenishers to skin stays youthful, soft and smooth

Key Ingredients

  • Avobenzone 3%: Provides UVA protection
  • Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%: Provide primarily UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high energy visible (HEV) light
  • Iron Oxides and Mica: Pressure-release colour system for customisable skin tone
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: Pigmentation inhibition
  • Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate: 12-hour time release antioxidant complex fights against free radical damage

Oclipse® Sun Spray SPF 50 

  • Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 for Face & Body. Protects the skin from UVB, UVA and HEV exposure
  • Retains SPF for up to 80 minutes of water exposure
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release antioxidant system helps protect the skin from reactive oxidative species
  • Provides anti-irritant and soothing benefits to help reduce redness and discomfort
  • Helps restore hydration and enhance the natural skin barrier to prevent dehydration from daily environmental exposure
  • Breakthrough one touch, all angle spray system provides uniform, even coverage for the entire face and boy with a non-greasy, weightless feel

Key ingredients

  • Octocrylene 10% (UVB), Octisalates 5% (UVB), Homosalate 15% (UVB), Avobenzone 3%(UVA): Provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Panthenyl Triacetate, Ethyl Linoleate, Tocopherol: Provides DNA protection

Oclipse® Sunscreen Primer SPF 30

  • Provides daily multi-defence protection from UVA, UVB and high-energy visible (HEV) light
  • Exclusive 12-hour time release vitamin antioxidant system guards against photo-damage
  • DNA protection and repair
  • Helps minimise inflammation
  • Restores hydration and enhances skin barrier
  • Provides additional support to restore lipids and enhances skin barrier function
  • Helps to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines

oclipse-sunscreen-primer-spf30Key Ingredients

  • Titanium Dioxide (8.2%): Broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) protection
  • Fractionated Melanin: Designed to shield the skin from high-energy visible light (HEV)
  • Helianthus Annus Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Lef Extract, Disodium Urine Phosphate: Helps provide DNA protection

The Necessity of UV Protection; Even in Winter

uv protection

It can’t be stressed enough, how important UV protection is year-round. UVA and UVB rays still penetrate the skin even when it’s grey and cloudy! Your skin is just as susceptible to developing skin damage or skin cancer in the winter months as in the summer.

Sun damage is connected to signs of premature skin ageing. Even a few minutes of exposure daily throughout the years can cause damage to the skin. From hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles to loose, leathery skin. The damage caused by repeated exposure to the sun is often referred to as photo-ageing. The skin loses its ability to repair itself, prohibiting the breakdown and production of collagen, as well weakening skin elasticity. This is what results in skin looking loose, leathery and wrinkled.

The intensity of photo-ageing is dependent on a person’s skin colour combined with their history of sun exposure. People with fairer skin tones commonly suffer more than those with darker skin. Those with darker skin tones are fortunate to be limited to fine lines, wrinkles and possibly an uneven, pigmented skin tone. However, it is important for all skin tones to take the proper precautions for UV protection.

Some important things to remember for the colder months…

  • While UVB rays may decrease during the winter, UVA rays are still ever-present and dangerous. They can play a major role in premature skin ageing alongside risks of skin cancer.
  • Cloudy weather does not offer much protection. Up to 80% of UV radiation can penetrate this deceptive cover and cause harm to your skin.
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Many do not realise that skin cancer and premature ageing can occur at its worst from a day in and day out exposure to UV rays, not just in the summer. 
  • The damage over the years from daily exposure to UV rays is not necessarily externally visible, but rather a collection of micro-scars that damage the skin.

uv protection

Make sure to protect your skin with a good sunscreen for UV protection

ZO Skin Health’s, Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 is clinically proven to be a non-irritating UVA & UVB blocker. It fights the damaging effects of the sun with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as well as providing additional protection with natural melanin. But that’s not all, it also multitasks as an anti-ageing product, helping to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Plus it doubles up as a makeup primer! So it’s something you’ll want to wear every day. Have you ever said that about a sunscreen? It’s the smart sunscreen. So if you’re going to do just one nice thing for your skin this is it.