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UV Radiation

image006The sun sends out different types of radiationthat reach the earth – visible light that is seen as sunlight, infrared radiation felt as heat andultraviolet radiation (UVR) that we can’t see. Ultraviolet radiation can be classified as UVA, UVB, or UVC.

The ozone layer absorbs some, but not all, of these types of UV radiation:

Wavelength: 320-400 nm. Not absorbed by the ozone layer.

Wavelength: 290-320 nm. Mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, but some does reach the Earth’s surface.

Wavelength: 100-290 nm. Completely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere.

UVA rays account for up to 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface, and can penetrate clouds and glass. These UVA rays play a major part in photo-damage and skin ageing. UVB rays are the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, damage which can also lead to premature skin ageing. Both UVA and UVB rays have the potential to cause skin cancers.

Effects of UV Radiation on the skin

Photoageing is the premature ageing of the skin due to repeated excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). It is extremely prevalent in Australia, due to the harsh climate and an outdoor lifestyle.

Photoageing can be characterised by the following visible signs of skin ageing:

• Fine lines & wrinkles
• Hyper-pigmentation
• Uneven skin tone or skin dullness, coarse skin texture
• Loss of skin firmness or elasticity
• Facial redness

Skin cancer is a disease of the body’s skin cells. It forms when skin cells are damaged by UV radiation penetrating the skin. UV damages skin cells’ DNA and this can cause cells to mutate and grow abnormally. If these mutant cells are not destroyed through the body’s own processes or other means, they will continue to develop and can turn into skin cancers.

image009Sunscreens Explained

After understanding the skin risks associated with UV exposure the importance of sun protection becomes apparent. There are a few different measures that indicate the efficacy of a sunscreen and that are recognised in Australia and regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UV radiation from damaging the skin. SPF measures the amount of UVB radiation transmitted to the skin after sunscreen has been applied compared to the amount of UVB transmitted to the skin without sunscreen. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 provides 30 times more protection than if not wearing a sunscreen. A sunscreen with an SPF of 50 provides 50 times more protection than if not wearing a sunscreen.

Broad Spectrum is a measurement of a sunscreen’s effectiveness against UVA rays. Broad Spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect against both UVB and UVA rays. A conventional sunscreen that has an SPF rating only and does not mention the term “Broad Spectrum” may block very little UVA radiation relative to the nominal SPF.

Why is Vitamin A important for our skin?

We know that Vitamin A is good for our health but why is Vitamin A important for our skin?

ultra-a-rvr-1Under the influence of Vitamin A, the metabolic activity of skin cells is increased, resulting in less dead skin cell buildup. Vitamin A is an excellent ingredient to treat dry skin, fine lines and sun damage by refining the skin’s surface. It will also increase skin moisture levels and leave the skin smoother, softer and younger-looking.

Ask your Blush Therapist about our Ultraceuticals Vitamin A skincare range – your skin will thank you!!

What form of Vitamin A does Ultraceuticals use?

Ultraceuticals uses the pure form of Vitamin A, Retinol, reported to have effects within the skin up to 20 times stronger than the more commonly used Retinyl Palmitate. The Ultraceuticals Ultra A range offers different strengths of Retinol to suit all skin conditions and concerns.

How does Ultraceuticals stabilise Retinol?

We use a number of different ways. Microencapsulation is one effective method which excludes the Retinol from contact with the base formula and from air. Other methods include using a pre-stabilised Retinol in conjunction with certain antioxidants and other ingredients. The packaging (a laminated tube) also offers a very high level of protection from light and to a lesser extent, air.

What is IPL?

IPL stands for intense pulsed light, and it is a form of light therapy, used for various dermatological procedures including hair removal.

ipl-hair-imageSo what’s the difference between IPL and laser hair removal technology? Unlike laser treatments, which have just one specific wavelength emitted from the diode depending on what you’re targeting, IPL has multiple wavelengths (all between 500 and 1,200 nanometres) that scatter within the skin.

As with all light based treatments, IPL works by emitting a wavelength into the skin, which in the case of hair removal targets pigment. It works in the same way black clothing absorbs heat on a hot day, versus white clothing which reflects it. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. It quickly turns to heat which then kills the growing cells that make theund-arm-ip hair. Hair has to be living for it to work however, in that, we mean it has to be attached to the bulb of growing cells – when you pull out a hair and it has that little jelly bulb around it, it’s one of the 20 to 40 per cent of living hair on your body. If you pull it out and it doesn’t, it’s a dead hair which can stay on your skin for up to three weeks. That’s why you need to have up to12 treatments of  IPL hair removal to catch all hairs in their living cycle.

Myth or Fact?

Myth: You’ll eventually outgrow acne

pimplesFact: If only that were true, lots of people’s skincare struggles in life would have been very different. In fact, women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s can have acne just like teenagers, and the treatment principles remain the same.

Not everyone who has acne as a teenager will grow out of it, and even if you had clear skin as a teenager, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get acne later in life, perhaps during menopause You can blame this often-maddening inconsistency on hormones! What is true is that men can outgrow acne, because after puberty men’s hormone levels level out, while women’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout their lifetime, which is why many women experience breakouts around their menstrual cycle What about the association between acne and food, stress, and over-cleaning your face?

There are actually lots of myths about acne; following are among the most common:

Myth: Acne is caused by eating the wrong foods.

Fact: This is both true and false. The traditional foods thought to cause acne, such as chocolate and greasy foods, have no effect on acne, and there is no research indicating otherwise.

The sugar connection rears its ugly head again, as research has shown those who regularly consume a high glycemic diet (high in sugar and/or simple carbohydrates) seem to develop acne in greater ratios than those who consume a low glycemic diet. However, just as with chocolate, fried foods, and dairy, this is not a cause of acne so much as it is possibly a supporting factor; for example, lots of dairy foods such as yogurt and ice cream are loaded with inflammation-triggering sugar (Nutrients, 2010).

Studies have found a connection between the consumption of milk and exacerbation of acne. However, the majority of the research demonstrates that the of naturally occurring hormones in milk affects the balance of acne-causing androgens (male hormones) in our bodies, which makes dairy perhaps the strongest of dietary factors that can influence breakouts, for some (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2005 and2008).

Myth: If you clean your face better you can clear up your acne.

Fact: Over-cleaning or scrubbing your face can actually make matters worse.

Acne is caused primarily by hormonal fluctuations that affect the oil gland, creating an environment where acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) can flourish. Don’t confuse scrubbing or “deep cleaning” with helping acne, because it absolutely doesn’t. Over-cleansing your face triggers inflammation that actually makes acne worse.

Inflammation and its resulting irritation, whether internal or external (for this discussion externally it would be due to the use of irritating ingredients, hot water, overusing scrubs, etc.), is practically a guarantee you will see excess production of oil, larger pores and more acne breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009 andDermato-Endocrinology, 2011).

What really helps breakouts is using a gentle cleanser so you don’t damage your skin’s outer barrier or create inflammation (both of which hinder your skin’s ability to heal and fight bacteria) and using gentle exfoliation. An effective exfoliating product that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid can make all the difference in reducing acne and the red marks it leaves behind (American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2012).

Myth: Stress causes acne.

Fact: Generally, it is believed that stress can trigger acne, but no one is exactly sure how that works, and there is conflicting research.

While it never hurts to reduce angst and worry in your life, stress as a causative factor for acne is hard to pinpoint. Plus, the way to treat acne doesn’t change because of the stressors in your life (British Journal of Dermatology, 2015 and Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2007).