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.
• 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 Cetto: DNA 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
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.
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.