Ambient Sunlight, melanin

and the science behind it

Ambient sunlight equals those moments in daylight most of us don’t think about: running an errand, walking to the mailbox, hailing a cab, driving, or even sitting next to a window. It’s for everyone, every day, year-round.

Ambient sunlight is primarily made of UV-A rays, that are equally intense year-round and also penetrate indoors.

Melanin & UV protection

Melanin serves as a physical barrier and protects against the penetration of UV through the epidermis

Melanin is a pigment naturally present in the skin, hair and eyes, which purpose is to protect and repair damage on skin cells created by exposure to UV rays. In the skin, melanin serves as a physical barrier that scatters UV rays, as an absorbent filter that protects against the penetration of UV through the epidermis, and as a repair agent against oxidation in skin cells. In hair, it provides the color, and acts as a protection of proteins such as keratin, keeping the hair soft, strong and healthy.

The activation of melanin under the effect of sunlight is called photo-adaptation: it is the ability of the body to defend itself against the damages caused by UV exposure, by scavenging free radicals and limiting the oxidation of skin cells, and the deterioration of DNA.

INSIGHT: The limitation of sunscreen for everyday protection

In their sunscreen guide, the EWG association talk about sunscreen being just part of a toolbox when it comes to sun protection: "a good sunscreen can play a role in preventing sunburns – a major risk factor for melanoma – provided you use it correctly."

On regular days, the biggest risk is not sunburns coming from a prolonged exposure to UV-B rays: it’s the constant and sporadic exposure to UV-A, that penetrate deeper in the skin and even through glass, and hit us whenever we’re talking a walk outside or sitting behind a window at work.

In addition, many studies including coming from the same EWG, have alerted about the health consequences of the daily absorption of synthetic UV filters in the bloodstream: hormone disruption, infertility, skin allergies and cancer have been directly linked to filters commonly found in susncreen such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, or zinc oxide.

Read EWG's report “8 Little-Known Facts About Sunscreens” 

INSIGHT: About moisturizers and make up with SPF

According to Mintel, about 50% of Americans use a moisturizer or make up that contains SPF. Although interesting for the sake of multitasking, such products cannot be considered an efficient protection against UV on a daily basis: besides the fact that SPF in general is for UV-B (sunburns on a regular day?) and that it fades away within 1-2 hours after its application, the amount of SPF on the skin is absolutely unsufficient to provide any filtering benefit. 

RESEARCH: The risks and benefits of sun exposure

In a study published in October 2016, scientist David G. Hoela from the University of South Carolina, with Marianne Berwickb, Frank R. de Gruijlc, and Michael F. Holick, are promoting the health benefits of regular and moderate sun exposure, stating that it would not only decrease vitamin D deficiency among Americans but that it would also contribute to decrease the risks of developing melanoma.

Skinergies is an essential component of an effective sun care routine, as it stimulates your body’s natural sun defense: Incidental Sun Smart Serum gives you the right level of protection against ambient sunlight all day, whether or not you’re already using sun protection.


1. Melanin activation: our biomimetic peptide mimics the action of sunlight on skin and naturally activates the melanin and its UV protection and repair properties

2. Additional anti-aging boosters: because the skin cannot cope alone with repeated UV exposure, we’ve added powerful and all natural UV-A, Blue Light and IR filters, anti-oxidants, and star ingredient hyaluronic acid, for full anti-photoaging benefits.

Contains only naturally derived ingredients, no harmful chemicals. Scientifically formulated, allergy tested, dermatologist approved.



This graph shows a significantly higher protection against both UV-A and UV-B damage (71% and 90% respectively) in situation B vs situation A. Situation A resembles a regular day, after sunscreen fades away.


When measured after 2 weeks, the capacity of Incidental Sun Smart Serum’s UV-A filter to neutralize free radicals was slightly superior to that of a sunscreen with synthetic filters, with 1% UV-A filter and 4% UV-B filter.