The Cultural Evolution of Tanning and Its Dangerous Effects on Our Skin
Just How Much Does the Sun Age Your Skin?
The aging of the skin starts to appear at 30 years of age. It deteriorates on average 1.5% per year. Moderate to severe sun exposure adds another 1 – 1.5% of skin degeneration. Thus by the age of 70, sun loving people might not only lose over 90% of their skin’s strength (collagen), thickness (hyaluronic acid), and elasticity (elastin) but also the fibrocytes and capillaries which maintain and nourish it.
Before 1950, sun exposure and the subsequent tanning of the skin was undesirable because white porcelain skin was “in”. To avoid the dreaded “tan”, umbrellas, hats, bathing suits covering most of the body, etc. were used.
In the early 1950’s a health benefit of sun exposure (stimulating the production of vitamin D) became well known. Subsequently a tan became a sign of health and even doctors would recommend “going outside to get as much vitamin D as you can.”
The tan also expressed affluence and leisure time. Early in this “sun tanning” period there were no effective sun screens and even as they developed, people didn’t use them because they wanted to “look healthy”.
Where and How Sun Damage Effects the Skin | Pre-Cancers
This cultural change has lead to one of the most common, most costly and in the case of melanoma, most dangerous health problems in the United States – skin cancer. The lighter the pigmentation of a person’s skin, the more vulnerable he/she is to sun damage.
Now, almost 30% of all visits to dermatologists involve the negative affects of sun damage.
Skin pre-cancers (actinic keratosis) and cancers (basel cell carcinomas, squamous carcinomas and melanoma) are by far the most common malignancies in the world.
What’s worse is that once the signs of sun damage and skin malignancies start, they will continue for years and even decades even if you totally avoid more sun damage. Why?
And why does the pre-cancer and cancer formation happen decades after you have received the majority of your sun damage?
The explanation is based on where and how the sun damage effects the skin.
In the diagram below, the sun damage (ultraviolet light A and B) penetrates through the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, and causes basophilic degeneration of the upper dermis. As this UVL damage accumulates, the skin’s resistance is eventually unable to compensate for it. When the change reaches that “threshold”, the basophilic degeneration stimulates the epidermis to produce pre-cancers and cancers and lasts a lifetime.
Forms of Damage
Reduce the Dermal Basophilic Degeneration that Stimulates Skin Cancer Formation
This damage to the skin comes in two forms: direct and indirect. Ultraviolet light A and B has a direct negative physical and chemical effect. This creates a tremendous amount of inflammation, adding to the total damage.
UVL-A and UVL-B also cause hydroxyl radical formation (free radicals) from the breakdown of water. Indirectly this not only damages the skin acutely but also chronically. These free radicals continue their severe destructiveness many hours and possibly days after sun exposure. They are “quelched” by antioxidants such as Miracle of the Sea™ Super Anti-Oxidant Lotion (with Green Tea Extract, Selenium, Vitamin E, Nicotinaldehyde), Rejuvenating Lotion with Vitamin C 15% or Retinol 5%.
The ingredients in Natural Marine Extract™ seem to show (by biopsy) to slowly erase this upper dermal basophilic degeneration which stimulates skin cancer formation. Thus, these ingredients, not only create younger, thicker skin but it also generates healthier skin. Please look at the video testimonials.