Solar Radiation & Your Skin

Solar Radiation is responsible for more than 80% of all Skin and Scalp aging*.

To fully appreciate the effects of light on your skin and scalp viability you must first understand the Light Spectrum.

UVA, UVB and High Energy Visible Light (HVL) all share the aging spectrum of Solar Radiation*.

The accumulation of daily sun exposure leads to premature aging of the skin, linked to the development of wrinkles, age spots, skin cancer and dry skin*.

In addition, Solar Radiation on your scalp skin leads to damage to your scalp's vascular and lymphatic network, forhead and neck sagging, premature hair loss and hair greying. *American Academy of Dermatology

 

Solar Radiation floods our Planet with both potentially lethal and healing light wavelengths. All light from the Green Spectrum into Violet and ultimately Ultra-Violet can be considered as progressively damaging in intensity... and from the Yellow Spectrum into Red and ultimately
Infra-Red as progressively healing in intensity.

High Energy Visible Light and Skin and Scalp Aging.

The High Energy Visible Light from the green spectrum progressively through to Ultra-Violet have various negative effects on differing depths within the skin.

We have all focused on SPF Factor Sunscreens to protect our skin from the aging effect of Solar Radiation however all evidence suggest that this SPF Factor may have very little to do with Skin and Scalp Anti-aging.

UVB Solar Radiation

UVB Radiation is the shortest wave radiation to make it through our Planet's atmosphere and ultimately hit the Earth... This Radiation is responsible for approximately 4% of skin aging.

The Inconvenient Truth about SPF

The number for SPF Factor Sunscreen (i.e SPF-15, SPF-30, SPF-50) relates ONLY to the protection of the skin from UVB radiation and therefore SPF Sunscreen Factor has an insignificant benefit in the fight against SOLAR induced skin aging.

UVB Radiation (280-315nm) is relatively superficial and its penetration is restricted almost entirely to the Epidermal Layer of the skin only 0.15mm deep.

It is this shallow concentration of energy which creates the sunburn and inflammation of the skin.


Chromophores and Photocarcinogenesis of the Skin

UVB irradiation is a complete carcinogen and can generate squamous cell carcinomas.Chromophores are substances that absorb Light. Various factors in a chromophore's structure go into determining at what wavelength region in a spectrum the chromophore will absorb.

Many candidates for substances capable of absorbing UV light in skin exist, but DNA and Urocanic acid have been identified as being biologically important.


DNA in epidermal cells absorbs UVB, leading to UV-induced DNA mutations. Urocanic acid is found predominantly in the stratum corneum of the skin where it acts as an internal sunscreen or photoprotectant against UVB-induced DNA damage.

UVB irradiation of Urocanic acid in the skin produces chemicals that suppress the skin's immune system.

Because UVB is essentially completely absorbed in the epidermis it is dangerous to long term health, however it has been important to understand that Photo-Aging changes in the skin are not caused in the main part by UVB.

SPF Sunscreen in Cosmetics

It is therefore also important to note that SPF Sunscreen in Cosmetics is almost a false promise of anti-aging protection and there is a large body of evidence to suggest that these sunscreen chemicals may be considered harmful to long term health.


SPF Sunscreen will also suppress the skin's ability to produce Melanine... your bodies own first line of defense against UVA, UVB and High Energy Visible Light solar radiation.Additionally, SPF Sunscreen will suppress the skin's ability to synthesis Vitamin D.

Anti-oxidants Protect.Anti-oxidants are the true answer to protecting your skin from damaging Solar Radiation whilst at the same time allowing healing light to support your skin.

If you must wear Sunscreen always use anti-oxidant rich serums first on your skin to quench free radicals as they are formed.

It is important to remember that free radicals are generated as the Solar Radiation oxidises the lipids within your Sunscreen or Moisturiser also.
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UVA Solar Radiation

UVA Radiation (315-400 nm) is longer wave radiation than UVB and vast quantities make it through our Planet's atmosphere and ultimately hit the Earth...This Radiation is responsible for approximately 46% of skin aging.

Whereas UVB is important for tumor initiation, UVA predominantly causes tumor promotion.

UVA is 10 X as aggressive as UVB.

Compared with UVB, UVA generates more oxidative stress.

At levels found in sunlight, UVA is 10 times more efficient than UVB at causing lipid peroxidation.

UVA is more cytotoxic than UVB. UVA damages DNA by causing strand breaks and oxidation of nucleic acids.

Cells exposed the UVA can stop actively growing and dividing (a decrease in cell viability), or the cells can activate a genetic program of controlled cell death (apoptosis).


UVA creates Free Radicals.

UVA creates Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the Dermis layer of the skin and Lipofusin (Oxidaized Age Spots).UVA induced Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species break down the skins vital Collagen and Elastin.

SPF Factor Sunscreen does not shield UVA Radiation.

UVA does not interact directly with the DNA but causes mutations that are mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species and in this way UVA promotes the formation of melanoma and carcinoma.

UVA generates Free Radicals and ROS to activate enzymes within the skin that degrade collagen and elastin thereby promoting the formation of Glycation Wrinkles (deep, rigid wrinkles) and uneven pigmentation.


Anti-oxidants quench Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species.

In addition to more efficiently generating ROS in skin, UVA causes additional biologic effects different from UVB.

Sunlight contains about 20 times as much UVA as UVB.

Whereas UVB is almost entirely absorbed in the epidermis, UVA is capable of reaching dermal layers and even affecting circulating blood cells and hair follicle viability in the scalp.

Window glass blocks most UVB irradiation but not UVA.

This creates special problems for those who spend long hours in cars or naturally lite office windows.

Without protection, their skin may be particularly susceptible to oxidative stress.


Photo-aging can be produced by UVA alone.

Because UVB is essentially completely absorbed in the epidermis, it has been important to understand that photoaging can be produced by UVA alone.

Small amounts of UV irradiation result in the induction of a series of destuctive proteases enzymes called matrix metallopeptidase (MMP's).

Collectively, they are capable of degrading the collagen and elastin framework of skin, scalp and the vascular system.

Antioxidants are the bodies greatest defense against the damage caused by UVA.
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High Energy Visible Light and Skin and Scalp Aging.

High Energy Visible Light Radiation (HEV Light) is the Violet/Blue Light Spectrum (~400-500 nm) of visible light.It is clearly visible when light is viewed through a Prizm or in nature it may be seen in the form of a Rainbow.

It is the most skin damaging wave radiation to make it through our Planet's atmosphere and ultimately hit the Earth...This Radiation is responsible for approximately 50% of skin aging.


SPF or UVA Spectrum Sunscreen will not protect against HEV Light.

High Energy Visible Light Radiation penetrates deeper than UVA through the dermis into thesub-dermis, the follicles of the scalp, the circulation vessels and the lymphatic vessels.

This spectrum of Solar Radiation promotes the greatest DNA damage via Free Radical and Reactive Oxygen Species.

In turn it activates MMPs to promote degradation of Collagen and Elastin resulting in the formation of glycation wrinkles and advances premature aging.

It promotes uneven pigmentation through Lipid Peroxidation forming lipofuscin age spots.


HEV Light and Hair Loss

It accelerates premature hair loss in both men and women by damaging the vital support network and structure of the follicle.

It does this by creating Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species which cause the degradation of the Lymphatic System and the Vascular System of the skin and hair follicle by more than 50% as we age.

This degrading of the Vascular and Lymphatic Systems in the skin and scalp is only evident in Solar exposed skin and does not take place in skin that has not been exposed, such as the skin of the buttocks.

It is this deep penetrating energy which penetrates easily through glass or water causing a cascade of deep inflammatory responses within the skin and scalp every day.


HEV Light causes Acne.

HEV Light and to a lesser extent UVA are the primary cause of Acne and Rosacea.

It penetrates the Sebaceous Gland and Follicle instigating Peroxidation of Sebum (Skin's natural oil), causing it to thicken and create Comodomes which block the follicle creating acne.

Chromophores are substances that absorb Light.

Various factors in a chromophore's structure go into determining at what wavelength region in a spectrum the chromophore will absorb.

Many candidates for substances capable of absorbing UV light in skin exist, but DNA and Urocanic acid have been identified as being biologically important.


HEV Light and Comodomes in the Skin.

DNA in epidermal cells absorbs UVB, leading to UV-induced DNA mutations.

Urocanic acid is found predominantly in the stratum corneum of the skin where it acts as an internal sunscreen or photoprotectant against UVB-induced DNA damage.

UVB irradiation of Urocanic acid in the skin produces chemicals that suppress the skin's immune system.

Because UVB is essentially completely absorbed in the epidermis it is dangerous to long term health, however it has been important to understand that Photo-Aging changes in the skin are not caused in the main part by UVB.

It is therefore also important to note that SPF Sunscreen in Cosmetics is almost a false promise of anti-aging protection and there is a large body of evidence to suggest that these sunscreen chemicals may be considered harmful to long term health.
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Red Spectrum Solar Radiation.

Red Spectrum Visible Light Radiation is the Orange/Red Light Spectrum (~600-750 nm) of visible light.

It is clearly visible when light is viewed through a Prizm or in nature it may be seen in the form of a Rainbow.

It is the most skin healing wave radiation to make it through our Planet's atmosphere and ultimately hit the Earth...This Radiation penetrates deep through the skin promoting improvement in your skin's texture and firmness through elevation of collagen and elastin levels.


Therapeutic and Anti-aging Light

Red Spectrum Visible Light Radiation penetrates deeper than all other Solar Radiation through the dermis into the subcutaneous fatty layers below the Sub-dermis. ......." ....
Photo-damage, Anti-Oxidants and Free Radicals

Sunlight coupled with living in an oxygen-rich atmosphere causes unwanted and harmful stresses on skin and scalp.

The most severe consequence of photodamage is skin cancer.Less severe photoaging changes for the skin result in wrinkling, scaling, dryness, and mottled pigment abnormalities consisting of hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.


Additionally, the deep circulatory and lymphatic vessels which support hair follicles may be degraded so that they no longer can supply the required oxygen and nutrition to the follicle, nor can the lymphatic system remove waste byproducts such as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Photo-chemical reactions in Skin

For a photochemical reaction to occur in the skin, ultraviolet (UV) light and High Energy Visible Light (HEV) from the sun must be absorbed by a chromophore, beginning a series of photochemic reactions that may result in skin cancer or photoaging changes.

These photochemical reactions can result in changes to DNA, including oxidation of nucleic acids initiated by free radical oxygen molecules.

Oxidative reactions can also modify proteins and lipids, resulting in changes in function. Their accumulation results in tissue aging.


Your Bodies own Defense

The body is well equipped to deal with oxidative stress, naturally using antioxidant enzymes and nonenzymic antioxidants to lessen these changes.

However, sunlight and other free-radical generators (eg, smoking, pollution) can overwhelm the system, making natural protective controls inadequate, resulting in oxidative damage.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS)

ROS are an inherent part of the normal daily metabolism of all cells, including skin and follicles.

Most oxygen in the body is used in cellular metabolism.

Through a series of 1-electron subtractions, molecular oxygen is in sequence changed to superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, and, finally, to water.


Anti-oxidants quench Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species.

In addition to more efficiently generating ROS in skin, UVA causes additional biologic effects different from UVB.

Most reactions occur in mitochondria and are related to energy production.

Cellular enzymes and controlled metabolic processes ordinarily keep oxidative damage to cells at a minimum.

In times of increased oxidative stress, however...including high metabolic demands and outside forces such as sunlight, smoking, and pollution... protective controls may not be adequate and oxidative damage may occur.


Free Radical...what are they?

The most damage occurs from free radicals. Free radicals are defined as atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron. Examples include superoxide anion, peroxyl radical, and hydroxyl radical.

These molecules are extremely chemically reactive and short-lived and they react at the place where they are created.

Other reactive molecules such as molecular oxygen, singlet oxygen, and hydrogen peroxide are not free radicals per se, but are capable of initiating oxidative reactions and generating free-radical species.

They are much longer living than the other Free Radical Species and often migrate damage further into the extracellular tissue. Together, these free radicals and reactive oxygen molecules are called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

Enzymic and Non-enzymic Anti-oxidant Protection

Antioxidants are the bodies greatest defense against the damage caused by UVA.


The skin naturally relies on anti-oxidants to protect it from oxidant stress generated by sunlight and pollution.

A relative symphony of enzymic and nonenzymic anti-oxidants interacts to provide protection in both the intracellular and extracellular space.

Anti-oxidant enzymes function predominantly in cells.

Examples of enzyme anti-oxidants are Glutathione Peroxidase and Glutathione Reductase which reduce hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxides.

Catalase detoxifies hydrogen peroxide and is an important anti-oxidant. Superoxide Dismutase protect cells from superoxide; extracellular Superoxide Dismutase protects the extracellular space.


Water Phase and Oil Phase Anti-Oxidants

Low-molecular-weight, nonenzymic anti-oxidants include Vitamin C in the fluid/water phase and vitamin E in cell membranes in the oil phase.

Topical Anti-oxidants

Because low-molecular-weight anti-oxidants protect skin against oxidative stress, undergoing depletion in the process, it is desirable to add to the skin's natural reservoir by applying the anti-oxidants directly to skin and scalp.

Although anti-oxidants can be supplied to skin through a diet rich in anti-oxidants and oral supplementation, physiologic processes related to absorption, solubility, and transport limit the amount that can be delivered into skin and hair follicle.


Anti-oxidants formulated into Cosmetics

Direct application has the added advantage of targeting the anti-oxidants to the area of skin needing the protection. For topical application of anti-oxidants to be useful, however, several obstacles must be overcome.

Anti-oxidant rich Phyto-Stem Serums

Anti-oxidants are inherently unstable compounds. Instability makes them difficult to formulate in an acceptable, stable composition for cosmetic use.

In addition, many anti-oxidants are deeply colored and have distinctive odours, adding to the complexity of producing an acceptable aesthetic product.

To protect deeper layers of skin, anti-oxidants need to be formulated in a way that delivers them into skin and scalp. Concentrations need to be substantial and optimized to maximize skin levels.


Phyto-Stem Trans-follicular Serums

This is why our Phyto-Stem Serums are all rich in colour and the aroma of pure plant essences. To facilitate maximum bio-availability our Serums and formulated for immediate Trans-follicular penetration, not slow Trans-epidermal penetration, and are always supplied in light-inpeneterable Airless Pump Packaging.

Finally, anti-oxidants need to have photoprotective effects including reduction of erythema (redness), reduction of sunburn cell formation, reduction of DNA changes, reduction of UV immunosuppression, reduction of pigment abnormalities, and,eventually, reduction of skin cancer risk and photoaging changes.
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How Much Sunscreen Gives Your Skin Protection?
Sunscreen is applied at one quarter of the required level.

To achieve the SPF Factor rating of a sunscreen it must be applied at 2mg per square centimeter of skin.

The average face skin is 300cm square which would require approximately 6grams of sunscreen on your face to achieve the SPF Factor indicated on the bottle.

It has been clinically assessed that the average person applies less than quarter of the required amount of sunscreen to achieve the protection level suggested on the bottle label.

At an average use level of 0.5mg per square centimeter of skin, a Factor SPF50 Sunscreen delivers a Factor SPF2.7 and a Factor SPF 30 Sunscreen delivers a Factor SPF2.3... Sunscreen is not the answer to long term protection of the skin from Solar Radiation and premature aging.
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Acne and Solar Radiation

There are 4 primary pathogenic factors, which interact in complex manner to produce acne lesions:

(1) sebum production by the sebaceous gland;

(2)Propionibacterium acnes colonization of the follicle;

(3) alteration in the follicles keratinization process;

(4) release of inflammatory mediators from the mouth of the follicle into the dermis of the skin.

Now, recent acne studies have provided more information about the role of sebaceous lipids and inflammatory mediators including MMPs.(matrix metalloproteinase enzymes).

Sebum includes several MMPs, which play a prominent role the inflammatory process of acne and MMP's are thought to originate in Keratinocytes (skin producing cells) and Sebocytes (sebum producing cells).

It has been shown in laboratory tests that peroxidation (oxidation) of sebum lipids can activate inflammatory mediators in the mouth of the follicle.

Oxidised squalene in sebum can also stimulate hyperproliferative behavior of keratinocytes, suggesting that this oxidised lipid may be partly responsible for comedone (black head and white head) formation.

This oxidised sebum and additional skin cells begin to make the sebum more viscus and fibrous thereby blocking the follicle mouth.
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How much Sun is too much Sun?

In skin and hair, melanin differs in eumelanin or pheomelanin while in the eye it is exclusively eumelanin.

The existence of melanin in skin and hair is strongly correlated with the prevention from free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation.

Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS.

Red hair is particularly rich in pheomelanin, whereas brown and black hair is composed mainly of eumelanin.Different melanin polymers have different response to UV radiation.

Eumelanin is good radical protector where as pheomelanin offers little protection.

It is therefore acceptable to assess that Red, Blonde, Light Brown and White Haired people are susceptible to free radical scalp skin damage after 5 to 10 minutes of UV exposure.

As UVA levels are relatively constant all year round and a little effected by cloud cover, it is UVA and High Energy Visible Light which are the most damaging to long term scalp viability.

The sun emits a wide spectrum of electromagnetic waves of which ultraviolet light (UV) is the most aggressive towards cellular compounds.

Large amounts of UVB and UVC are screened out by ozone, the major photoprotective agent formed in earth’s atmosphere.

Hence, solar Ultra Violet non-visible (UV) radiation that reaches the earth as well as our skin, is composed of 5–

10% highly energetic UVB (280–320 nm) and 90–95% UVA (320–400 nm) which is less energetic, but penetrates the skin deeper due to its longer wavelength.

In contrast, hair is fully penetrated by both UVA and UVB.The Earth's ozone layer acts as a shield, absorbing around 90% of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

The massive depletion of ozone due to CFC Aerosols in the past 50 years has left our scalp and face skin enormously more susceptible to accelerated aging from UVA than any previous generation.

Ozone is not expected to reestablish itself back to pre-1970’s levels until the year 2060.

It is only anti-oxidants which can shield our scalp and face skin from UVA aging and that is whyPhyto-Stem Scalp Serums and Face Serums are rich in a broad spectrum of Anti-Oxidants.
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Review the chart below to discover how much Sun is too much Sun for your Skin and Scalp