Skin is our body’s largest organ and it’s under constant attack from external aggressors. Previse has carefully crafted recipes to help defend our skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and environmental aggressors such as water and air pollution.
We evaluate over eleven critical elements in determining your personal three-step skin care regimen. One of these factors is melanin, which is an area of expertise for Previse Medical Advisor, Dr. Ellen Marmur, Dermatology. The presence of melanin creates the color of skin, eyes, and hair.
As Dr. Marmur points out, “melanin is our body’s natural shield to protect our DNA.” Essentially melanin in the skin protects the body by absorbing solar radiation. Melanin controls the amount of UV radiation from the sun that penetrates the skin by absorption. While UV radiation can assist in the production of vitamin D, excessive exposure to UV may cause health problems.
The body naturally combats and seeks to repair damage and protect the skin from UV radiation by creating and releasing additional melanin into the skin’s cells. With further production of melanin our skin may become darker, but can also sunburn. For some, the change in skin tone may be less apparent due to already high melanin levels present in the skin. In general, the more melanin there is in the skin the more solar radiation can be absorbed. Excessive solar radiation causes direct and indirect DNA damage to the skin. The tanning process can also be created by artificial UV radiation.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
- Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
UVA and UVB Damage
Scientists are in agreement that UV radiation is harmful to the skin – UVA, UVB, and UVC. Each can damage collagen fibers and, therefore, accelerate aging of the skin. Both UVA and UVB destroy vitamin A in skin. UVA can contribute to skin cancer via indirect DNA damage; it penetrates deeply, but it does not cause sunburn. UVA can be worse because there is no burning sensation or reddening of the skin, which means UVA is able to penetrate for long periods without us knowing.