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Skincare Journal

Niacinamide: Skincare's Superstar Ingredient

Niacinamide: Skincare's Superstar Ingredient

There are few modern skincare ingredients more deserving of their superstar status than niacinamide

This derivative of vitamin B3, also called niacin or nicotinic acid, is a true workhorse when it comes to addressing a myriad of skin concerns.

From stubborn adult acne to uneven skin tone, niacinamide's unique attributes offers an impressive array of benefits, including effectively reducing hyperpigmentation, enhancing hydration, taming redness, and combating the signs of skin aging. 

This article dives into the role of niacinamide in skin care, exploring its benefits, antioxidant properties, and its targeted action on specific skin conditions. 

Skincare benefits of Niacinamide

Balance oil production 

Niacinamide supports acneic skin by helping to reduce inflammation, controlling sebum production, and minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties tame breakout-prone skin, while its ability to balance oil products helps keep skin clear. 

Even out hyperpigmentation 

Through its action on melanin synthesis, niacinamide helps brighten skin and even out skin tone. It may help to inhibit pigment transfer, resulting in a more uniform luminous complexion. 

Enhances skin barrier function

Niacinamide strengthens the skin's barrier function, enhancing its resilience against environmental stressors and irritants. Improved barrier health helps skin retain moisture and guards against pollutants, environmental toxins and pollen exposure.

Hydrate

It improves skin hydration by increasing ceramide production, an essential component of the skin's lipid barrier. This action helps lock in moisture, leaving the skin plump and hydrated.

Rejuvenate

Niacinamide visibly reduces the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and skin sagging, by boosting collagen and stimulating keratin production, proteins vital for skin strength and elasticity. This results in a firmer, refreshed appearance.

Guard against premature skin aging

Niacinamide also acts as a potent antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals generated by environmental exposure to pollutants and UV radiation. This helps curb premature skin aging and maintains skin health and vitality.

Specific skin concerns

Rosacea and redness

Its taming effects make niacinamide an effective ally for rosacea and general skin redness, reducing inflammation and the look of flushed skin.

Eczema and psoriasis

By bolstering the skin's barrier and providing hydration, niacinamide can help comfort eczema and psoriasis, helping offer relief to angry skin.

When incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine, choose products with appropriate concentrations (typically between 2% and 10%) for your skin's needs.  Niacinamide is generally well-tolerated.

Niacinamide plays well with many actives and is compatible with vitamins C and E (tocopherol), which can enhance its overall benefits. You can find a synergistic blend of both niacinamide and vitamin C in our brightening Aspen Dew Illuminating Skin Essence.

Plant-based niacinamide

The interest in natural skincare has led to the development of plant-based niacinamide sources, which may offer improved bioavailability and potentially fewer side effects. 

Key sources of botanically-derived niacinamide include seaweed, avocado, and sunflower seeds, among others. 

Niacinamide stands out in the realm of skincare for its multifaceted benefits, from balancing acne prone skin to enhancing hydration and revitalizing lack-lustre skin. It's a favorite in the world of results-driven skincare and once you've tried it you're sure to see why.

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Harnessing the Power of Horsetail: A Time-Tested Herb for Skin Revitalization

Harnessing the Power of Horsetail: A Time-Tested Herb for Skin Revitalization

If you've noticed your skin lacking its usual vibrancy or firmness, it might be time to turn to a remedy that has stood the test of time.

Horsetail, a 'living fossil' known scientifically as Equisetum arvense, is not only a testament to nature's resilience but also a treasure trove of benefits for your skin. 

This ancient herb, native to the Northern Hemisphere and prevalent across European landscapes, goes by various names such as mare’s tail, shave grass, scouring rush, and bottlebrush, each reflecting a unique aspect of its appearance or traditional uses.

The history of horsetail

Horsetail's journey through time is as fascinating as its benefits. Esteemed by ancient Greeks and Romans, its medicinal properties were first documented by the Greek physician Claudius Galenus in the 17th century.

This herb was utilized extensively for its ability to combat fluid retention, support hair, skin, and nail health, and even treat osteoporosis and kidney issues.

Its broad application in traditional medicine across cultures, including China and Europe, underscores its versatility and enduring value.

The skin-boosting benefits of horsetail

Supports collagen production

Horsetail stands out in the botanical world for its unparalleled levels of bioavailable silicon, present as silica and silica acids

This trace mineral is crucial for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that lends skin its strength and elasticity. By bolstering collagen production, horsetail helps enhance skin resiliency and firmness, providing a smoother, more youthful complexion.

Revitalizing properties

Rich in isoquercitrin, a potent flavonoid, horsetail may help to accelerate cellular renewal. This action not only aids in the rapid recovery of skin tissues but also combats the effects of premature photo-aging, ensuring your skin remains vibrant and resilient.

Tames angry skin

The anti-inflammatory properties of horsetail play a significant role in quelling reactive skin. By interrupting the body’s inflammatory response, it minimizes potential damage to skin structures and wards off premature aging, offering a calming effect on angry skin.

Antioxidant-rich

Horsetail's abundance in natural flavonoids and antioxidants equips it to neutralize harmful free radicals generated by stress, environmental pollutants, UV rays, and electronic devices. 

This protective action helps prevent lipid peroxidation and DNA damage, safeguarding the skin from accelerated aging.

Nourishing and moisturizing

As a natural source of a wide array of phytonutrients and minerals, including calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and vitamins, horsetail serves as a powerful nutritive tonic for the skin. It improves skin barrier health and aids in moisture retention, leading to a soft, dewy complexion.

Incorporated into our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence, horsetail enriches the skin with its unique blend of minerals and antioxidants, promoting collagen synthesis for a firm and smooth complexion. 

Whether you're looking to revitalize dull skin, enhance moisture retention, or protect against environmental stressors, horsetail offers a multifaceted approach to skin health that has been refined over millennia.

Horsetail's enduring presence and multifunctional benefits make it a cornerstone ingredient for anyone seeking to rejuvenate their skin naturally. By leveraging the ancient wisdom and scientific understanding of horsetail's properties, we can unlock a pathway to achieving radiant, healthy skin that withstands the test of time.

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The Remarkable Benefits of Aspen Bark Extract for Skin Health

The Remarkable Benefits of Aspen Bark Extract for Skin Health

Aspen, scientifically known as Populus tremuloides, and colloquially referred to as the quaking aspen for its distinctive fluttering leaves, is more than just an aesthetically pleasing deciduous tree native to North America.

Beyond its visual charm and the timber's valued durability and disease resistance, aspen harbors potent phytonutrients that offer a myriad of benefits for skin health.

Aspen bark is a phytonutrient powerhouse

The resilience of aspen trees, capable of thriving in harsh high-altitude environments, is largely attributable to their rich content of polyphenols and alkaloids. These compounds not only enable the aspen to fend off predators and diseases but also imbue it with remarkable longevity. Such phytonutrients are what make aspen bark extract a remarkabkle ingredient for skincare, providing significant anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

The historical & medicinal significance of aspen bark

Historically, aspen has been revered for its medicinal properties. Indigenous peoples of North America utilized it for treating a variety of conditions, from fever and skin burns to respiratory ailments.

The bark, in particular, was noted for its healing effects on wounds and chilblains, as well as its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, offering relief from back pain and potentially mitigating gastric ulcers.

Aspen bark extract in skincare

Smoothing and Softening Effects

Aspen bark is a treasure trove of salicin, a precursor to salicylic acid, which acts as a gentle exfoliator.

By promoting the shedding of dead skin cells, salicin helps to smooth, soften, and brighten the skin, enhancing texture, diminishing fine lines, and revitalizing the complexion.

Ideal for sensitive skin

Due to its non-irritant nature, aspen bark extract is well-suited for sensitive skin types. It serves as a natural preservative, offering a safer alternative to traditional parabens while reducing the potential for skin irritation.

Anti-inflammatory properties

The blend of salicin and polyphenols in aspen bark extract provides significant anti-inflammatory effects. This can be particularly beneficial for calming reactive or irritated skin, with antioxidants helping to soothe the epidermis by combating free radicals and inflammation.

Potent antioxidant activity

Aspen bark extract's high phytonutrient content makes it a powerful antioxidant. Polyphenols protect the skin's structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin, from oxidative damage. This helps to preserve skin integrity and combating signs of premature aging.

Incorporating aspen bark into your skincare routine

Leveraging the power of aspen bark extract in skincare products, like our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence, can significantly enhance skin health.

Its unique ability to smooth, soften, and calm, makes it an invaluable ingredient for anyone looking to restore balance and brightness to their complexion.

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Restorative Horsetail, the Fern For Firm Skin

Restorative Horsetail, the Fern For Firm Skin

If your skin is looking slack and feeling like it's missing its usual bounce, it may be time to help boost collagen production.

Praised for its restorative benefits, horsetail is a ‘living fossil’ that has graced our planet with its fern-like fronds for hundreds of millions of years.

A perennial native to the Northern Hemisphere and European countries, horsetail (Equisetum arvense) also goes by the names shave grass, scouring rush, and bottlebrush.

It was used extensively by ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties being first recorded in medical texts by the Greek physician Claudius Galenus during the 17th century.

Containing some of the highest levels of bioavailable silicon in the form of silica and silica acids in the plant world, horsetail helps encourage collagen synthesis boosting skin resiliency and turgor. (Not to be confused with silicone, which is a man-made chemical commonly used in industrial applications.)

This restorative botanical is found in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence and helps promote collagen synthesis for a smooth, firm complexion.

Read on to learn how your skin can benefit from this delicate fern…

Restorative Benefits of Horsetail

Firm skin

Containing the highest levels of bioavailable silicon in the form of silica and silica acids in the plant world, this trace mineral is vital for taut skin, strong bones, and lustrous hair and nails. Silica is a vital building block of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. It is important for optimal collagen synthesis and activation of hydroxylating enzymes, which help to improve skin strength and elasticity.

Revitalizing

Packed with a flavonoid called isoquercitrin, horsetail extract is touted to speed up cellular regeneration. It may also help support the skin’s wound-healing processes and fight the effects of premature photo-aging.

Calming

Horsetail may help to interrupt the body’s inflammatory response. This action may decrease potential damage to skin structures, premature skin aging, and help to calm reddened skin.

Antioxidant-rich

Elevated free radicals from stress, environmental pollutants, UV rays, and radiation from smartphones and laptops may negatively impact skin health. These unstable molecules can lead to inflammation and lipid peroxidation, which may damage cellular DNA and vital skin proteins.

Loaded with natural flavonoids and other antioxidants, horsetail helps curb effects from free radicals and accelerated skin aging.

Nourishing

Horsetail is a natural source of phytonutrients and minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. This makes it a potent nutritive tonic when incorporated into a daily skincare regimen.

Moisturizing

By helping to improve skin texture and providing a rich source of phytonutrients, horsetail improves skin barrier health and moisture retention.

Horsetail has many skin benefits which is why we've included it in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence. Containing both silica and silica acids in a readily absorbable format, horsetail is an obvious choice for boosting collagen and improving skin health.

Sources:

Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy* Lidiane Advincula de Araújo,1 Flavia Addor,2 and Patrícia Maria Berardo Gonçalves Maia Campos1

Isolated isoquercitrin from Green ball apple peel inhibits photoaging in CCD-986Sk fibroblasts cells via modulation of the MMPs signalingEun-Ho Lee 1, Hye-Jin Park 1, Han-Hyuk Kim 2, Hee-Young Jung 3, In-Kyu Kang 4, Young-Je Cho 1

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Maintain Glowing Skin While Traveling

Maintain Glowing Skin While Traveling

Have you ever hopped on a jet only to disembark at your destination and have your previously glowing complexion look dry, flaky, or just plain out of sorts?

There’s a reason this happens during travel. To understand why we must first take a look at our skin’s natural moisturizing factor, or NMF for short.

Your Skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)

To stay hydrated, your skin produces what’s called a natural moisturizing factor (NMF). It consists of water-attracting compounds, like amino acids, urea, lactic acid, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, and other small molecules. These substances work together to bind ambient water molecules to the skin, keeping it hydrated and in a state of balance.

The fascinating thing is, your skin naturally adjusts how much NMF it produces. And it does this based on the environment you’re in.

For example, let’s say you live in a dry climate with low humidity levels like Colorado. Your skin will make more NMF than if you lived someplace with higher ambient humidity levels like Texas or Florida.

When you travel, your skin senses the change in environmental humidity, altitude, sun exposure, etc., and works overtime to bring itself back into a state of homeostasis, or balance. 

But this adjustment takes time and it’s one of the big reasons our skin can react negatively, looking dry and dull or on the opposite spectrum, breaking out within days after arriving on vacation.

To help your skin bounce back more quickly while you travel, try these tips and tricks.

Tips for Maintaining Glowing Skin While Traveling

Consider air travel

Any air travel you do will dehydrate your skin as cabin air has very little humidity. Before boarding apply a moisturizing facial serum like the Alpine Phytonutrient Serum and reapply during your flight.

Don’t worry, at one ounce each, TSA will allow you to carry on multiple full-sized TellurideGlow serums. This will help protect your skin from drying out as a result of the constant wicking effects of dry air being circulated in the cabin. Plus the soothing scent of the Alpine will add a little extra relaxation to your trip. 

You can also use a hydrating facial mist and spritz your face periodically during the flight. This will help add moisture back onto the surface of your skin, and since TSA won’t allow you to carry on a personal humidifier, it’s your next best option. 

Bring a lip ointment or dab some Purist Delicate Skin Serum onto your lips to keep them from cracking and chapping.

Pick up a water bottle so you can stay well hydrated while you fly. To that end, avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, both are known diuretics. 

This will help your skin bounce back more quickly and reduce the effects of jetlag if you're traveling overseas. You can always have a Parisien cappuccino or an Aperol Spritz once you land.  

Moisturize

Once you arrive at your destination, restore moisture to dehydrated skin with our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence. As a water-based formula, the Aspen Dew will deposit moisture back into your skin while the micro-molecular hyaluronic acid in it will help to continuously pull ambient moisture back into your skin. 

Follow with a skin barrier recovery serum like the Alpine to help balance skin post-travel. The phytoceramides found in both the Alpine and Purist will help protect your skin from additional moisture loss by preventing further trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Cleanse gently

For cleansing while traveling, avoid harsh soaps or foaming products as these will strip your skin barrier of its natural oils. Skip potentially irritating hotel soaps and cleansers. Look for an oil-based or cream cleanser to help deposit lipids back onto your skin. 

And tempting as it might be, try not to over-cleanse while traveling. Over-cleansing can cause an inflammatory reaction in your skin, worsening dryness, hormonal breakouts, and skin conditions like eczema. 

Be mindful of chlorinated water

The water at your destination may have more chlorine, water softeners, or hard minerals than what you’re used to back home. These can worsen dry skin and aggravate reactive skin. 

This rule applies to swimming in chlorinated pools. Always rinse off after you get out to help remove any residual chlorine.

Sunscreen

You have heard it a million times but it bears repeating, always protect your skin from the sun. Especially if you’re traveling to a mountain town like Telluride where intense UV exposure and high altitudes can literally worsen every skin condition under the… ahem, sun. 

Choose a non-toxic sunscreen with a pleasing texture that you will enjoy using and apply it every few hours when out of doors.

Wishing you happy travels and glowing skin this summer!

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Swiss Edelweiss Flowers: The Skin Benefits of this Alpine "Queen of the Mountain"

Swiss Edelweiss Flowers: The Skin Benefits of this Alpine "Queen of the Mountain"

Edelweiss flowers (Gnaphalium Leontopodiumare a rare, strictly protected mountain herbaceous plant.  Its short-lived bloom symbolizes alpinism, rugged beauty, and purity of the Alps, often called ‘The Queen of the Mountain’. 

Edelweiss flowers thrive in rocky limestone habitats above 5,900 feet in elevation. Living at such high altitudes means these plants receive some major sun, wind, cold, and general severe weather exposure all of which has contributed to their ability to repair and fight free radicals. 

So, what does this mean for skin?

A true extremophile botanical, Edelweiss has the ability to fortify, renew and nurture the skin. It has been shown in studies to target skin RNA helping to improve their response to environmental stressors.

You can find sustainably harvested and protected Edelweiss flowers in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence.

Rejuvenating

By supporting skin regeneration processes, Edelweiss helps contribute to a healthy and rejuvenated complexion. Rich in antioxidants leontopodic acid and isochlorogenic acid, Edelweiss can help fortify skin against environmental stressors, like UV radiation, pollution, and free radicals. Twice as potent as vitamin C, Edelweiss helps shield skin from oxidative stress and slow premature aging. 

Calming

Edelweiss contains phenylpropanoids, a compound that posses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These phytoactives can help  calm angry or reddened skin. This can be particularly beneficial for those with sensitive or reactive skin.

Hydrating

Edelweiss helps hydrate the skin and prevent moisture loss by restoring hydration and supporting healthy skin barrier function to those suffering from dry or dehydrated skin.

Firming 

Edelweiss can help to support collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. As we age, our collagen production declines, which can lead to the development of wrinkles and fine lines. Edelweiss contains phytonutrients that may help to improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promote more youthful-looking skin.

Smoothing 

Edelweiss can help to improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin by helping promote cell renewal and regeneration. This can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, and promote a more radiant complexion.

Brightening

Certain compounds found in Edelweiss extract are associated with skin brightening effects which help to reduce hyperpigmentation, fade dark spots, and reveal a more even and radiant skin tone. In addition, Edelweiss can help fortify your skin against sun-induced aging.

Edelweiss flower extract is truly an alpine treasure, bringing a myriad of health benefits to your skin. From its concentration of free radical scavenging antioxidants to its hydrating and soothing properties, this alpine wonder can transform your skin's look, feel, and health.

Sources:

Cho, Won Kyong, et al. "Anti-Aging Effects of Leontopodium alpinum (Edelweiss) Callus Culture Extract through Transcriptome Profiling." Genes, vol. 11, no. 2, 2020, p. 230, doi:10.3390/genes11020230.

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7 Skincare Ingredients That May Make Your Skin More Sensitive to the Sun

7 Skincare Ingredients That May Make Your Skin More Sensitive to the Sun

Sunshine lifts our spirits, brightens our days, and provides essential Vitamin D.

But if you're a skincare aficionado, you're well aware of the sun's darker side. Ultraviolet rays can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and, at worst, skin cancer. 

You likely already know the importance of slathering on sunscreen, donning wide-brimmed hats, and staying in the shade during peak UV hours. 

But, did you know that certain skincare ingredients can actually increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun?

From powerful skin lighteners to popular skin exfoliators, there's a laundry list of ingredients in skincare products that can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, leading to quicker sunburns, pigment changes, and a potentially increased risk of skin cancer. 

In this post, we'll dive into the nitty-gritty of photosensitivity, highlighting those innocent-looking bottles on your bathroom counter that could secretly be turning your skin into a UV magnet. 

Ingredients That Can Cause Photosensitivity

Let's explore seven of the most common skincare ingredients that can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHAs and BHAs)

AHAs and BHAs are prominent players in the skincare world for their role in exfoliation. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid are among the most common. 

By promoting the shedding of dead skin cells, these ingredients can leave newer, more vulnerable skin exposed, making your skin more susceptible to sun damage. 

Hydroxy acids can also break down your skin’s acid mantle and disrupt skin barrier function. This can lead to an imbalance in skin PH and make it vulnerable to additional environmental irritants. Using a nutrient-rich recovery serum like our Alpine Phytonutrient or Purist Delicate Skin Serum can help skin bounce back more quickly and support skin barrier health. 

If hydroxy acids are a standard ingredient in your skincare routine, take extra care to protect your skin from sun exposure.

Chemical Sunscreens

It might sound paradoxical, but certain chemical sunscreens can sometimes provoke a photosensitive reaction. 

Ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate absorb UV radiation, transform it into heat, and release it from the skin.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that some people can have allergic reactions to these chemical absorbers, which can manifest as photosensitivity.

In addition, several of these chemical sunscreen ingredients, like octocrylene, degrade during sun exposure becoming benzophenone, a compound suspected of being carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting. 

Traditional Retinoids

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are lauded for their anti-aging and acne-fighting benefits. Unfortunately, they can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. 

This sensitivity is due to the thinning of the stratum corneum, the skin's outermost layer. A study in the Archives of Dermatology confirmed that the use of topical tretinoin resulted in increased sun sensitivity. 

Botanical retinoid alternatives, like Dew Bean, found in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence, are a gentler alternative to traditional retinoids and do not cause photosensitivity. 

Certain Citrus Essential Oils

Specific citrus essential oils, such as Bergamot, Lemon, and Lime, can induce a phototoxic reaction when applied to the skin, followed by exposure to the sun.

The compounds responsible for this effect are called furanocoumarins. Never apply these essential oils directly onto your skin and avoid using skincare products with these ingredients prior to sun exposure. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide works to prevent breakouts by delivering oxygen to skin pores, killing the anaerobic (unable to live in oxygen) P. acnes bacteria responsible for acne formation. It also helps to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells that can clog pores.

Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. The mechanism by which it causes photosensitivity isn't yet completely understood, but it is believed that it increases the skin's sensitivity to UV radiation by inducing oxidative stress.

The mild irritation and redness that accompany benzoyl peroxide use can be exacerbated by sun exposure. 

Hydroquinone

Like many other skin-lightening agents, hydroquinone can cause photosensitivity. This is because it disrupts the production and distribution of melanin, which naturally helps protect skin from harmful UV radiation. Using hydroquinone can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage.

While effective, hydroquinone is best used with caution. Not only can hydroquinone cause photosensitivity, but it also increased the risk of developing a condition called ochronosis, a rare but potentially permanent skin discoloration.

For a natural alternative, our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence contains Aspen Bark which brightens skin without the photosensitizing side effects.

Always use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using hydroquinone. It should not be used for long periods without a break and always under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Accutane

Accutane, now called Isotretinoin, is a highly potent drug that can lead to serious side effects, the least of which is increased sun sensitivity and burning. Always wear SPF 50+ if you are using Accutane as part of your skincare routine and never use it without medical supervision.

So now you're probably thinking, "Great, I can't use anything anymore!" Hold your horses! There's no need to throw out half your beauty cabinet. 

How to minimize photosensitivity

Understanding how your beauty routine might be making you photosensitive is half the battle. Here’s what you can do about it.

Know Your Ingredients: Get in the habit of reading product labels. Understand what's in your beauty products and how they may impact your skin. 

Apply Sunscreen Religiously: Non-toxic mineral sunscreen is your best friend, rain or shine. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and don't skimp on it!

Avoid Direct Sunlight: The sun's rays are the most harmful between 10 AM and 4 PM, so try to stay in the shade during these hours.

Wear Protective Clothing: Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing can provide additional protection.

Just like Sid the Seagull reminds us in one of the most successful health campaigns in Australia's history, “Slip! Slop! Slap!”

Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat before you go out in the sun! If you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth Googling. 

And always check with your healthcare provider or dermatologist about the potential photosensitivity effects of both your skincare products and medications.

Sources:

J. Kim, K. J. Park, H. J. Park, E. Kim, Y. H. Kim, J. M. Park, and Y. I. Park. “Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Aging: The Role of DNA Damage and Oxidative Stress in Epidermal Stem Cell Damage Mediated Skin Aging.” Stem Cells International, vol. 2016, Article ID 7370642, 14 pages, 2016. 

Ditre, CM et al. “Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on photoaged skin: a pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology vol. 34,2 Pt 1 (1996): 187-95. 

Nash, JF and Tanner, PR. “Relevance of UV filter/sunscreen product photostability to human safety.” Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, vol. 30,2-3 (2014): 88-95. 

Mukherjee, S et al. “Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.” Clinical Interventions in Aging, vol.1,4 (2006): 327-348. 

Kligman, LH. “Effects of all-trans-retinoic acid on the dermis of hairless mice.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol.15,4 Pt 2 (1986): 779-85, 866-7. 

Moore, DE. “Drug-induced cutaneous photosensitivity: incidence, mechanism, prevention and management.” Drug Safety, vol.25,5 (2002): 345-72. 

Lim, HW et al. “American Academy of Dermatology Consensus Conference on UVA protection of sunscreens: summary and recommendations. American Academy of Dermatology.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 44,6 (2001): 505-8. 

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5 Ways UV Rays Damage Your Skin: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected

5 Ways UV Rays Damage Your Skin: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected

Most of us are well aware of the risks associated with sun exposure and the importance of sun protection as a means of skin cancer prevention. 

But do you know exactly how UV rays damage your skin? 

In this three-part series dedicated to Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we'll first explore the impact of UV rays on skin DNA and structure. In subsequent posts, we’ll highlight some powerful skincare ingredients that offer fortifying and restorative benefits to sun-damaged skin as well as cover other ways in which you can protect your skin from ultraviolet damage.

The following are five ways in which ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, primarily UVA and UVB rays, cause damage to the skin:

1. DNA damage and skin cancer risk 

UVB rays can directly damage the DNA in skin cells. This damage to our skin’s genetic code can lead to mutations that can result in skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. This is in part due to the fact that the DNA damage continues hours after our exposure to the sun has ended.

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats
  • Seek shade during peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm)

2. Sunburn and inflammation 

UVB rays are the main culprits of sunburn, an acute response to excessive UV exposure characterized by redness, inflammation, and sometimes blistering. The safest way to prevent sunburn is to cover up, use SPF 50+, and avoid sun exposure when ultraviolet rays are at their strongest, between 10 am-4 pm.

  • Apply and reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
  • Wear sun-protective clothing
  • Avoid peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm)

3. Pigmentation changes

UVA and UVB rays stimulate melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) in the skin, leading to the development of freckles, age spots, and uneven skin tone. An additional unfortunate byproduct of melanin production is DNA derivatives called cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). CPDs are associated with an increased risk of melanoma. UVA rays penetrate the deepest into the skin and can pass through panes of glass (such as car windows) and cloud cover.

  • Use sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days
  • Incorporate brightening skincare products to fade pigmentation
  • Consult a dermatologist for personalized treatment options

4. Collagen and elastin degradation 

UVA rays can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. This damage results in premature skin aging characterized by wrinkles, and loss of skin structure which leads to sagging skin and overall loss of elasticity.

  • Apply sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Include skincare products with antioxidants and collagen-boosting ingredients like our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum.
  • Consider professional treatments to stimulate collagen production

5. Blood vessel dilation

UVA rays can cause dilation of blood vessels in the skin, contributing to erythema (redness) and inflammation.

  • Use a physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
  • Choose skincare products with calming ingredients, such as aloe vera like our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence.
  • Consult a dermatologist for treatments targeting redness and inflammation

While the most foolproof way of protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays is to stay out of the sun, this is not always possible or desirable. 

You can however protect your skin by making a habit of wearing non-toxic mineral sunscreen daily. And you can fortify your skin against the sun by using skin care products that fight oxidative stress and free radical damage.  

With powerful free radical scavenging ingredients like Edelweiss and Bearberry extract, The Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence supports skin health both before and after sun exposure.

UV Rays FAQs

How do UV rays damage the skin?

A: UV rays can damage the skin in various ways, including causing DNA damage, sunburn, pigmentation changes, collagen and elastin degradation, and blood vessel dilation.

What's the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

A: UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and contribute to premature aging, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and DNA damage. Both types can contribute to skin cancer.

How can I protect my skin from UV damage?

A: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wear sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats, and seek shade during peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm).

Sources cited:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10365447/
  2. https://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index1.html
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6836296_Mouret_S_Baudouin_C_Charveron_M_Favier_A_Cadet_J_Douki_TCyclobutane_pyrimidine_dimers_are_predominant_DNA_lesions_in_whole_human_skin_exposed_to_UVA_radiation_Proc_Natl_Acad_Sci_USA_10313765-13770
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19675548/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25653189/
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Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence

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Aspen Dew is a stepped up toner + revitalizer designed to quench thirsty skin, help brighten skin that’s seen some sun, and assist in firming with renewing actives.
When used together with our oil serums, humectant hydration and nourishing moisture create the holy grail of dewy skin.

For daytime, it's the Essence and one of our Serums (plus sunscreen).

For nighttime, skip the sunscreen (obviously!)

Mask once a week.

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