Sun Protection with Jan Marini


We must continually remind ourselves that skin aging cancer risk are not directly associated with number of the years we have lived but are instead related to our cumulative exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) and other environmental factors. As much as 90 to 95% of the conditions we perceive as signs of aging (dulling skin, lines wrinkles, pigmentary problems, etc.) are actually due to cumulative UV exposure and damage. This damage is cumulative and often takes 10, 20, and even 30 years before becoming apparent. To reduce the risk of cancer and maintain healthy youthful skin in the future, it is necessary to protect against damage caused by UV exposure (both UVB and UVA) today.
Skin cancer has drastically increased in prevalence during the past 100 years after tanning became fashionable in the 1920s and is now the most common form of cancer in the United States. In 1935 only approximately one out of 1200 people were diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most deadly and often fatal form of skin cancer. Today, that number has jumped to one out of 67 (a 1700% increase) and is second only to breast cancer for women in their 20s. The source of UV exposure does not matter for sun damage and cancer risk. It has been shown that use of a tanning bed before the age of 30 can increase the risk of melanoma by 75%. In light of this and other information, in August 2009, tanning beds were classified as carcinogenic to humans.
One of the best and most accepted scientific theories today to explain sun-related aging is referred to as "The Membrane Hypothesis of Aging." Research in this area demonstrates that if the cell membranes can be protected against free-radical destruction, the skin will not appear to age from sun exposure.
The cell membrane is a critical barrier that protects and insulates the cells which provide genetic coding, and also maintains the cell's ability to remain active and viable. When skin is exposed to the sun, a complex reaction occurs that sets in motion a chain of events that damages or destroys the membrane, and which translate into skin that shows the visible signs of aging.
As the skin is subjected to these assaults, it loses its ability to reproduce exact copies of healthy cells, prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, repair tissue rapidly and prevent the attack of lipids in cell membranes. Finally, the skin gradually breaks down, in general, due to free radical damage. Even minimal sun exposure triggers an intense invasion of free radicals. Consistent release of free radicals has proven to result in the following long-term damage:
  • Substantial destruction of collagen and elastin (collagen and elastin are the primary components of the skin's support structure)
  • Skin becomes slack and loses its ability to restore itself to its original shape
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Skin discoloration/hyperpigmentation
  • Skin cancer
  • Impairment of the skin's immune function
  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Coarse textural changes
  • Damage to DNA
  • Weakening and destruction of cells that come in contact with free radicals
Studies have shown that antioxidants can actually "neutralize" free radical activity thus averting free radicals from attacking cell membrane tissue. In order to prevent further damage, broad-spectrum sun protection is a must.
Ultraviolet light is split into three bands - UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA is the band of light closest to visible light and UVC is furthest from visible light. It is critically important for a sunscreen to not only protect against UVB, but also protect against UVA. UVB is the range of UV damage that leads to sunburns and is the band of light tested for SPF. UVA protection is closer to visible light and is not included in SPF ratings. This means a high SPF sunscreen may not provide protection against UVA. Light exposure in the UVA range causes free radical oxygen formation leading to inflammation, sun damage and increases risk for certain kinds of cancer. UVC protection is not necessary as earth's atmosphere is extremely good at stopping this light, providing protection.
Jan Marini Skin Research's antioxidant sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB providing broad-spectrum protection. Additionally it contains antioxidants to help the skin protect itself from damage. No matter what the SPF, some light is going to reach the skin and potentially create free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to scavenge free-radical oxygen molecules thus protecting the body from their damaging effects.
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