We all know to put sun cream on when sunbathing or on a sunny day, but new research shows that in fact regular exposure to ‘daylight’ can cause significant sun damage to skin.
[quote] New research from the University of Michigan Medical School and published in JAMA Dermatology shows that just two days of daily low level sun exposure can begin irreversible damage to skin.[/quote]
The two main rays from the sun are UVA and UVB, which is high exposure sunlight (that causes sunburn) and mostly occurs an hour before and two hours after midday. However low level light from basic ‘daylight’ is called UVA1, which are formed when the sun’s rays reach the surface of the earth, so basically whenever it’s light outside.
To prove the effects of UVA1 damage to skin, researchers shined a low level of pure UVA1 rays, as might be encountered in daily life, on small areas of trial volunteers buttocks. A day later, they measured changes in skin pigmentation. Then, they took tiny samples of skin, in order to detect which genes had been ‘turned on’ by the light exposure. After just two exposures, UVA1 rays caused skin cells to make molecules that break down the protein called collagen, which makes skin firm, smooth, and youthful in appearance. The UVA1 also caused the skin to darken a little with each exposure, but this tan didn’t protect against further production of the collagen-destroying molecule, called MMP1, when the skin was exposed to more doses of UVA1.[quote] Most sun creams do not protect against this type of everyday ray, ONLY sun creams containing pure zinc oxide are certified to protect against daylight UVA1 rays.[/quote]
The new research is the first to quantify the damage of UVA1 and highlights the need for sun creams that protect against this form of sun damage, namely those containing zinc oxide.
The new research also suggests that sunscreens should be worn on a daily basis, even when it’s not that sunny, for daily protection against UVA1 rays that can damage skin and cause premature ageing.