Did You Know? UV Rays and Melanin

Temperature does not dictate the amount of UV emitted from the sun. This means that on a sunny winter’s day you can still get sunburned! UV Radiation is the part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. There are three classifications of UV light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The short rays of UVC are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth, however UVA and UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role

in premature aging, uneven pigmentation and skin cancers. UVA is the longest of the three rays at 320-400nm. These rays can penetrate through clouds, windows and into the dermis. Prolonged exposure shrinks collagen and elastin fibers and causes fi ne lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

UVB rays range from 290-320nm. Their intensity varies depending on location, time of day and time of year. These rays penetrate the epidermis, stimulate melanin and can result in freckles, mottled and uneven complexion as well as redness and sunburn.

In additional to accelerating the aging process, all UV exposure can suppress the skin’s immune system and increase the risk for skin cancer. So it is imperative that your daily skincare regimen include a broad-spectrum sunscreen to block damage from both UVA and UVB rays as well as potent antioxidants to protect against free radical damage.

Melanin forms an β€œumbrella” over the DNA of your skin cells providing

β€œshade” to protect them from damage. Human skin tones vary around the world primarily due to a pigment called melanin. People of all complexions essentially have the same number or melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin; however,Β in darker complexions more melanin is produced than in lighter complexions.

The production of melanin can be stimulated by several factors including UV exposure, hormones and injury. The overproduction of this pigment can result in an undesired uneven skin tone known as hyperpigmentation. Daily application of brightening agents as well as full spectrum sun protection help to create beautiful, even skin tones in all complexions