Re-printed from Looking Fit Magazine
Posted in Articles, Marketing, Research, UV Light
Allowing the skin to slowly become accustomed to UV radiation from sunlight by moderate indoor tanning creates a protective effect, says the Sunlight Research Forum (SRF). Studies repeatedly find that continuous sun exposure below the erythema threshold (when the skin begins to redden) is essential in helping the human body to build up its natural self-protection mechanism against UV-ray overexposure. Pigmentation and the formation of the so-called “light callous” – a thickening of the skin’s uppermost layer, the stratum corneum – create an effective dermatological barrier against excessive radiation’s harmful effects. This naturally produced effect is comparable to the protection offered by sun cream. “Regular sun bathing over a period of three to four weeks allows the light callous to fully develop. The thickened stratum corneum is better able to absorb UVB light and to prevent it from penetrating the rest of the epidermis,” explains Ad Brand from SRF. He continues by explaining how solar radiation boosts the production of the pigment melanin. “This skin pigment provides another layer of protection from UV radiation below the stratum corneum. Melanin is the substance which produces tanned skin. The more melanin stored, then the darker the suntan,” he shares.
“Tanning outdoors or in a solarium therefore provides greater protection from the sun by activating the skin’s own protection against UV rays.” Brand recommends that “the three to four weeks running up to a beach holiday should be used to build up the light callous layer and increase melanin production.” He warns that “Sudden overexposure to UV radiation without preparation can cause sunburn and increases the risk of developing skin cancer.”
SRF is a not-for-profit organization based in The Netherlands. SRF’s aim is to help bring to the forefront the latest medical and scientific information on the effects of moderate UV exposure on man. It takes time, often decades, for new scientific ideas to be accepted and assimilated, first into the general body of scientific knowledge and finally into policy. SRF wants to reduce this time to a minimum so that the benefits of research can lead to a better understanding of UV effects on man and will become available to the public without any unnecessary delay. The organization hopes to provide policy makers with correct information on which to base national health policy and individuals with better information on which to base choices about their lifestyles.
Dailyglow.com, by Dr-Jessica-Wu
June 17, 2011
Important News About Sunscreen
Have you ever stood in the sunscreen aisle at your local drugstore, staring at the shelves full of tubes and bottles until your eyes glazed over? Help may be on the way. This month, for the first time in 33 years, the FDA released new guidelines that are designed to simplify the confusing and often misleading labels on sunscreens. Most manufacturers have a year to comply, so it should be easier to pick one next summer. Here’s the lowdown:
• The word “sunblock” will no longer be allowed on labels, since this implies that the product blocks out all UV rays.
• Only sunscreens that protect equally against UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays can be labeled “broad spectrum.”
• Sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher can claim that they prevent sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer. Sunscreens with SPF less than 15 will be required to carry a warning that they haven’t been shown to prevent skin cancer or aging.
• Sunscreens will not be able to call themselves waterproof or sweatproof. This is because no sunscreen can be completely budge-proof under water. They can be labeled as water-resistant; if so, they’ll need to indicate how long (40 or 80 minutes) you can swim or sweat before the protection wears off.
• In addition, the FDA is proposing a maximum SPF of 50. Sunscreens that have SPF values higher than 50 would be labeled as SPF 50+. This is because there’s no scientific proof that a higher SPF provides more protection from skin cancer and aging compared to products with SPF 50. The agency is also taking a closer look at sunscreen sprays to evaluate how well they protect, as well as the safety of inhaling the mist.
While these guidelines are a step in the right direction, the labeling is still not as informative and helpful as labels in Europe and Asia, which have rating systems that help sunscreen users compare the degree of UVA protection between products. The FDA should also take a closer look at the safety of current sunscreen ingredients, and speed up their review and approval of newer ingredients with better UVA protection as well as less irritation and potential toxicity.
For more information on the change in sunscreen labeling, visit the American Academy of Dermatology.
Vitamin-D from UV exposure can reduce your risk of Breast Cancer by 60%
Vitamin D isn’t really a vitamin – it is a hormone your body produces naturally and most effectively when your skin is exposed to UVB in sunlight. That energy starts a chemical reaction in your skin which produces a form of vitamin D that your bloodstream carries to the rest of your body to be used.
For more than a century scientists only knew that modest levels of vitamin D were necessary for bone health. Vitamin D helps your body process calcium – the main building block for bones. No one knew that it actually does much more than this. For 50 years scientists have known that most forms of cancer were much less common in sunny areas of the world. But no one knew why.
In the late 1990s the story started to come into focus for the first time. That’s when scientists first discovered a new role for vitamin D: It controls and regulates cell growth in most systems in the body. But to perform this function people needed much higher vitamin D levels than had always been recommended – what we now call “Natural Vitamin D Levels.” Without artificial supplements, it now appears the new vitamin D levels are only naturally possible with regular exposure to UVB in sunlight.
That discovery in the late 1990s spawned hundreds of subsequent studies into vitamin D and reduced cancer risk – including breast cancer. The research has boomed in the past three years:
•A 2006 paper published in Anticancer Research established that women with higher vitamin D levels are 50-70 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
- A 2007 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that women with high sun exposure levels – the most natural and abundant source of vitamin D – had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer.
- A 2007 paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women with high vitamin D levels have up to a 77 percent reduction in overall cancer risk – including breast cancer.
- A 2002 paper in Occupational and Environmental Medicine established that women who received regular sun exposure were less likely to die from breast cancer.
What effects do tanning beds have on your skin and health?
Most, if not all who belong to the tanning bed industry agree that tanning indoors is much safer when compared to natural sun tanning, which usually requires some exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
Tanning equipment emits light that contains just about 40% less UVB light. Tanning beds provides for the control of exposure time as well as the ratio of UVB (B-urning) rays to UVA (A-ging) rays, allowing you to get to a ‘perfect balance’ between the two. Tanning beds can dramatically decrease your chances of getting burned since this type of tanning equipment was made to filter out majority of the UVB rays.
Some of the UV radiation from tanning beds is also beneficial for the body’s production of Vitamin D, an important factor in maintaining a constant level of calcium in the blood and in controlling its absorption.
Tanning beds limit the amount of UVB radiation that it produces, therefore allowing you to get more UVA and less of the harmful UVB rays. It is known that UVA rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and, according to tanning bed producers, will therefore not cause any damage such as burned skin, premature aging or will cause the skin to thicken.
Tanning bed manufacturers even go as far to say that it is not safe to tan. These manufacturers say that avoidance of the sun can increase one’s risks for developing certain types of cancer. There are also some studies that revealed that some exposure to the sun holds back the development of colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.
Eyewear protection is required by law. Eyelids are not thick enough to provide protection and do not effectively block light while tanning. Approved eye protection is required to ensure you won’t have any ill effects such as reduced color vision or night blindness.
1. It helps your skin absorb UV rays; dry skin reflects UV rays
2. It gives immediate results – this applies to tingles and bronzers
3. It moisturizes your skin, resulting in a healthier appearance…healthier skin equals a darker looking tan
4. It speeds up the tanning process by increasing melanin production
5. It makes your tan last longer because of the moisturizing and healing ingredients