Exposure to the sun and its UV rays is known to cause several skin aging issues, such as damage to collagen, loss of skin elasticity, and the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots. While limiting sun and UV exposure is a good practice, it’s quite impossible to avoid the sun completely. That is why it’s important to use sunscreen to prevent premature signs of skin aging.
Using any sunscreen is better than going without; however, there are ingredients that can be added to daily sunscreen formulations to make them even more beneficial for skin health. In general, the addition of ingredients like artichokes that have high concentrations of antioxidants is beneficial in a sunscreen formulation. As a matter of fact, sunscreen formulations that have some form of antioxidants have been shown to be better at shielding skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. With this in mind, this article will discuss the effects of sun exposure and UV rays on the skin, as well as how artichoke and its extracts could potentially help protect against sun damage and skin aging.
How the Sun and UV Rays Damage Skin
Studies have shown that exposure to the sun and UV rays can rapidly cause premature skin aging and damage due to photoaging. In general, photoaging occurs when the DNA and cellular structure are damaged due to sun exposure, which causes wrinkles, sun spots, fine lines, and other signs of aging. While skin aging is inevitable, it has been estimated that almost 90% of all changes to the skin are due to photoaging, which is a direct result of sun exposure.
When it comes to sun exposure and photoaging, there are three main types of harmful solar radiation or UV rays that damage skin cells:
- UVC: Ultraviolet C is perhaps the least discussed form of solar radiation, as the Earth’s ozone layer mostly blocks it out. However, with the ozone layer weakening in recent years, it could potentially cause severe sunburns if one is overexposed.
- UVB: Ultraviolet B directly damages the DNA and cellular makeup of the skin. It is also the primary solar radiation that causes sunburns and hyperpigmentation.
- UVA: Ultraviolet A also damages the DNA and cellular structure of the skin; however, it does so through the formation of reactive oxygen species. In other words, it causes oxidation to the DNA, resulting in mutations that may manifest as signs of skin aging.
Oxidation and Skin Aging
As mentioned earlier, exposure to UV rays and the sun can cause different reactions to the skin including oxidations. Oxidation can cause a number of problems to the skin both in physical appearance and on the cellular level. Here are just some of the complications and direct results of oxidation on the skin.
- DNA Mutations
UV rays penetrate the skin on a cellular level which causes reactive oxygen species which can cause DNA and cellular mutations.
- Oxidation of Membrane Components
While many parts of the cell are affected by oxidation, the membrane components are specifically altered. When oxidation and free radical levels are high the cell cannot remove these harmful chemicals thus damaging the membrane as well as lipoproteins.
Oxidation can also lead to Apoptosis or cell death of the epidermal keratinocytes which is the main cell type of the epidermis of our skin. With this type of cell death, skin is likely to retain less water, produce fewer skin proteins, and many other skin maintenance and protection issues.
- Triggering Proinflammatory Release
Due to the DNA mutations from oxidation the body naturally releases proinflammatory cytokines from keratinocytes. This causes collagen and elastin-degrading enzymes to be released which in turn causes severe collagen and skin elasticity loss.
- Physical Changes In Appearance
With all the DNA mutations and cell structure changes, oxidation can cause physical appearances to change. This can be in the form of deep wrinkles, skin texture, hyperpigmentation, etc.
Is Artichoke Good For Your Skin?
With all the ways the sun can damage and age the skin, it is important to use daily protection and UV filters to minimize its effects. While a basic sunscreen is a great first step, finding a formulation with additional ingredients like antioxidants. With the oxidation that comes with sun exposure, adding an antioxidant to a sunscreen allows better cell protection against free radicals and DNA damage.
Some common antioxidants to look out for in a sunscreen formulation include Polyphenols, flavonoids, etc. A great plant-based ingredient that has many different antioxidant components that can be added to sunscreen formulations is artichoke extracts. The list of artichoke benefits for skin and sun protection is due to the many antioxidants found in its extract including Polyphenol acids and flavonoids. With multiple antioxidant components, artichoke benefits for skin include preventing cell damage and skin aging effectively.
Shield Your Skin From The Sun With Provital Artichoke Extract
While not a common ingredient in the cosmetics market, the list of artichoke benefits for skin is undeniable. Artichoke extract is a great addition to a sunscreen formulation to protect against oxidation from sun exposure. With its high concentrations of Polyphenols and Flavonoids, it provides great protection against free radicals and DNA oxidation. Knowing this Provital has formulated their own artichoke extract that is vegan and cosmos-certified. From their Vitacares line, Provitals artichoke extract contains antioxidant properties that fight against photoaging and keep skin shielded and protected from UV damage.