Most Sunscreens Don’t Screen Sun
Most people love the sun, but the sun doesn’t love them back. How do we know? Because researchers at the University of Michigan have found that even a low level of daily exposure to a common component of sunlight can cause skin damage at the molecular level after just a few days. A U of Michigan news release reports that the findings highlight the need for better sunscreens, the kind that will prevent the process that can cause skin to look old, wrinkled and sagging prematurely. The researchers shined a low level of pure UVA1 rays, as found in sunlight, on small areas of 22 volunteers’ buttocks. Yes, buttocks. The researchers found that after just two exposures, UVA1 rays caused skin cells to make molecules that break down the protein called collagen, which makes skin firm, smooth, and youthful in appearance. The UVA1 also caused the skin to darken a little with each exposure, but this tan didn’t protect against further production of the collagen-destroying molecule, called matrix metalloproteinase 1 or MMP1, when the skin was exposed to more doses of UVA1. What to do? Hope that someone makes a sunscreen that can protect against UVA1 rays, not just the UVB rays. At the moment, only zinc oxide and avobenzone are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as sunscreen ingredients capable of blocking UVA1, and window glass, and most clothing, also don’t necessarily filter out all UVA1. Read more from the University of Michigan.