During the summer months we tend to relax and spend more time outdoors with family and friends and are able to put the stresses of daily life and work away for a short while. During this time we will have more sun exposure which can be beneficial but we can also create a complete disaster within the structures of our skin when we lay in the sun for hours causing a burning effect and an inflammatory response.
There is a very fine line in order to obtain just the correct amount of sun exposure to be beneficial for our general well-being.
If we look at the positive side of sunlight exposure to our skin and body we will be able to produce Vitamin D naturally. Interestingly enough our bodies can never over produce Vitamin D through sunlight but it is very easy to exceed our dosage on synthetic Vitamin D supplements.
UV rays penetrating into the skin will stimulate the production of Vitamin D. Enzymes in the kidney and liver modify and convert Vitamin D to the final form of calcitriol which is the most active form of Vitamin D.
Calcitriol is fat-soluble and affects approximately 2000 genes in your body. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from foods and is considered a hormone which plays a vital important role to protect your bones, heart and brain as well as assist your immune system to fight off any invasion of bacteria causing disease or infection.
Sun exposure for short periods of 10 to15 minutes a day is thought to be enough to keep the levels at a normal level. However, people living in colder climates may struggle. Small quantities of vitamin D can also be obtained from various foods including Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Egg yolks, Shrimp, Milk (Fortified), Yogurt and Cod liver oil.
Over exposure of UV light have many negative effects from pre-mature ageing, immune suppression, cataracts and the main concern causing skin cancer. What exactly happens within the layers of the skin when we receive excess amounts of UV rays?
Firstly our skins immune response will be activated through our Langerhans cells. These cells are derived from bone marrow and make up essential elements in the skin’s defence system. A cellular type of immune response is then triggered, neutralising and finally eliminating the antigen. A variety of studies have clearly demonstrated that over exposure to UVB radiation decreases Langerhans cell density and alters their morphology and immunological function.
The skin will resort to the form of chemical protection against the UV exposure by activating the melanogenesis process to neutralise and finally eliminate the inflammation or irritation causing damage to the DNA of our cells.
UV rays sets off a chain of chemical reactions within the epidermal layer:
Keratinocytes will call for help from the melanocyte for protection, once the message is received endothelin and a protein called Proopiomelanocortin (PMOC) will be released to activate the Pituitary gland to secrete the Melanin Stimulating Hormone (MSH).
The endothelin and MSH bind with their receptors to activate the process of melanogenesis within the Melanocyte in order to produce pigment to protect the DNA of the cells. Due to overstimulation of UV rays the mitochondria DNA becomes damaged leading to a decrease in cellular energy, slowing down of cellular functions and accelerated skin ageing.
How can we prevent or slow down the harmful effects of UV exposure in our skin?
Using Nimue SPF40 sun protection daily and re-applying ever 2 to 3 hours especially when exposed to the sun for a number of hours during the day is essential. The formulation of the SPF40 combines the latest technology with photo stabilisers to enable us to have a higher SPF factor without adding any additional chemicals which can cause irritation to the skin and an advance antioxidant complex to reduce free radical activity causing inflammation. The inorganic block will absorb and neutralise UVB rays and an inorganic block will reflect and scatter UVA rays away from the skin.
Enjoy the summer sun while protecting your skin.
|Article written by Nadine Vorster
Nimue National Educator at Grace Beauty Ltd.
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