Sunscreen. It’s the cheapest anti-ageing cream available and yet the sunscreen you use today may not be doing even half the job it could be. A shocking fact.
Sunscreen protects your skin against UVA and UVB light. At this very moment in time these are the only 2 requirements for a product to be legally described as a sunscreen.
However only an average of 6% of the light reaching your skin is UV light[i].
That’s compared to over 52% visible light. Light you can see. Light which surrounds you almost every hour of the day. And with modern technology we’re talking night time exposure too. If you can see – you and your skin are at that very second being exposed to visible light.
New study data is showing a very particular kind of visible light could be exponentially ageing to your skin. HEV light.
What Is HEV light?
HEV is shorthand for High Energy Visible light. Technical sounding but extremely easy to identify. HEV light is simply light with a blue to violet colour. Scientists define HEV light as light with a wavelength of 400-500nm. Think of this like a ruler. And before HEV light gets measured, UV light queue jumps in to a measurement of 280-400nm – with UVB taking the first and smallest spot.
UVB < UVA < HEV.
Does HEV light damage skin?
It wasn’t until the 1970s scientists realised UVA light was also damaging to skin. Sunscreens used before these dates only had to defend your skin against UVB light. In doing this sunscreens were not effective anti-ageing creams.
Fact; UVA light can penetrate to a deeper skin level than UVB.
Fact; HEV light can penetrate your skin to a significantly deeper level than UVA light.
The deepest levels of skin are where wrinkle resisting collagen and elastin are found.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology reported the following findings[ii];
- UVB found in natural sunlight generates 4% of total reactive oxygen species (ROS)
- UVA found in natural sunlight generates 46% of total ROS
- Visible light found in natural sunlight generate 50% total ROS
ROS are free radicals which are over excited atoms and molecules. When these radicals bump into neighbouring atoms and molecules they have huge potential to also turn them into free radicals.
Fact; Free radicals are exceptionally damaging to your skin.
Quick recap; visible light is reaching the layers of your skin most responsible for keeping skin wrinkle free. Visible light has been found to be a significant contributor of skin induced free radical damage.
But wait, is there a way to protect your skin against HEV light skin damage?
Can You Protect Skin Against HEV Light Damage?
Yes you can. HEV light skin damage can be protected against with the clever use of antioxidants. Not every antioxidant will protect your skin against HEV light damage but a carefully selected few will.
This is because specific antioxidants are remarkably skilful in quenching ROS. Quenching is the scientific word used to describe the ending of a free radical i.e. the free radical has re-become a normal and low energy atom or molecule.
Result; collagen and elastin levels are defended and your skin age is protected.
A new active created from tomato fruits is showing high protection against ROS. The types of antioxidants found in tomatoes usually can’t be used in skincare because they will stain skin red. This new active, antioxidant extract is colourless. A colourless carotenoid combination known as phytoene and phytofluene. An ingredient we use at maximum concentration in our Explorer Blend Facial Oil.
Bottom line; HEV could be prematurely ageing your skin. Use proven antioxidants daily to defend and protect your skin health.
[i] Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2009;22:31–44
[ii] Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2009;22:31–44