How to tame the sun? Antioxidants and UV filters in beauty products

The summer is just around the corner but you still don’t know how to prepare your skin for these scorching sun rays? It’s high time to take care of this and get the right cosmetics. Find out which antioxidants and UV filters should they contain to make sunbathing pleasant and safe.

UV radiation vs. skin

UV radiation is divided into three ranges: UVA, UVB and UVC. The latter is the most dangerous but luckily it’s blocked by ozone layer in 100%. When it comes to UVA and UVB, both of them reach atmosphere and get in contact with human organism. UVA radiation affects inner skin layers, whereas UVB radiation causes redness and swelling. Both types of radiation encourage sunburn, skin diseases and accelerate aging.

UV radiation leads to free radicals appearance. They in turn cause changes in DNA as well as do damage to collagen and elastin fibres. As a response to the sun rays, our bodies start fighting all dangers back by producing… a tan. Melanocytes located in our skin increase the melanin level, which makes skin turning darker.

How to protect our bodies against the sun?

One of the methods dealing with the adverse effects of long sun exposure is application of sunscreens. When applied to body, they block the sun rays from penetrating the skin and impede their action for some time. Generally, there are physical and chemical filters. Physical filters (a.k.a. mineral filters) disperse sun rays, whereas chemical filters absorb the rays and transform them into warmth. Unfortunately, there is no substance that would protect our skin in 100% against UV action.

While choosing a sunscreen, pay attention to the information placed on the packaging. The most popular abbreviation is SPF, which is Sun Protective Factor. Its value indicates period of time that can be spent exposed to the sun without bothering about irritations. Other abbreviations worth paying attention to are:

  1. PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening)  – it informs us about the number of times that the dose of UVA radiation absorbed by our skin will be reduced.
  2. IPD (Immediate Pigment Darkening) – darkening of the skin observed after a minute-long UVA exposure.

Antioxidants in skin care

Solar radiation leads to free radicals appearance which can be removed only due to antioxidants. The very substances are present in food and beauty products, and these are: vitamin C, E, coenzyme Q10 and azelaic acid to name just a few. Another method of weakening the effect of solar radiation is regular skin moisturising. Beauty products that replenish skin with water prevent skin dehydration by locking water inside the dermis. Body moisturising is also drinking approximately 1,5 liter of still mineral water a day.

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