The ultraviolet sun ray UVA1 causes skin damage and is responsible for kickstarting the photoaging, or premature aging, process. The University of Michigan Department in Dermatology conducted a study and found that even in low levels, UVA1 ultimately leads to saggy and wrinkled skin. It is yet undetermined whether or not UVA1 exposure is linked to skin cancer. Finally, most sunscreens sold on the market do not protect against UVA1.
Does your skin look wrinkled or saggy, or has it otherwise lost its luster? We’ve got the scoop on a little something called “photoaging.”
While UVB cause sunburn, UVA directly lead to premature aging
Throughout the early 2000’s, much of the sun-science community was focused on Ultraviolet B rays, and for good reason. After all, these are the harmful UV’s that cause sunburn and potentially skin cancer. But more recently, scientists have put another ultraviolet on trial — that is, UVA1 — the most prevalent of all UV rays, which also happens to be responsible for photoaging, or premature aging.
Funded by the National Institute of Health, the University of Michigan Department of Dermatology set out to study the skin-damaging impacts of UVA1, and how the process of photoaging actually starts.
“The researchers shined a low level of pure UVA1 rays, as might be encountered in daily life, on small areas of 22 volunteers’ buttocks,” wrote UM Health’s Kara Gavin of the study. “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. They repeated this process three more times on each participant.”
UVA are responsible for disrupting collagen production
Here’s what they found: even low levels of daily UVA1 exposure can damage skin in just a few short days. And it happens at the molecular level, as UVA1 breaks down collagen, that magical protein that gives our skin its taut, youthful look. As the collagen moves out, the wrinkles and saggy skin move in. Photoaging also happens to those who visit tanning salons, as UVA1 is highly prevalent in tanning-bed light.
Skin damage that leads to photoaging, or premature aging, is one thing. But what about UVA1 and its correlation to skin cancer? According to UM Health, “Though the current study didn’t assess the impact of UVA1 on genetic changes that can lead to skin cancers, other forms of UV are firmly linked to most types of cancerous skin lesions.”
In other words, the jury is still out on this one — but don’t be so surprised to learn UVA1 is in fact linked to skin cancer. Perhaps most concerning of all is that few sunscreens effectively protect against UVA1. Only two ingredients found in sunscreen (zinc oxide and avobenzone) are capable of blocking the ever-harmful UVA1. And of course there's or very own Incidental Sun Smart Serum, our new, scientifically formulated, hassle-free, clean skincare solution for you, every day, year-round. With melanin activating peptides and a proprietary blend of algae and pants, selected for their protection and regeneration properties against UVA, blue light and IR related damage. Your skin will thank you, every day, year-round.