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Remember that really nasty sunburn you got as a kid? You turned red as a beet, then everything peeled off in really disgusting layers.
Believe it or not, that awful experience probably wasn’t the worst damage the sunburn caused to your body.
Scientists still don’t understand exactly how sunburns happen, but they do know that it’s a complex chemical reaction that creates free radicals that damage DNA molecules in the skin, dilating blood vessels and then recruiting inflammatory compounds to help minimize the damage.
The horrible peeling skin is caused when the burn was so bad it destroyed those molecules and your skin sloughed off because it was dead.
Not all the damaged DNA peels off though. The UVB rays that caused the burn have a short wavelength and generally don’t penetrate the inner layers of your skin. UVA rays have longer wavelengths and can penetrate more deeply, causing long-term damage to cells where photoaging occurs and most skin cancers start.
Sunscreens of yesteryear were formulated to protect only against the UVB rays that caused immediate and painful damage, but newer sunscreens – called broad-spectrum – protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The problem is that the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) we use to measure sunscreen only shields your skin from UVB rays.
There’s no easy way to measure how much protection your sunscreen offers against the more harmful UVA rays that damage DNA by generating free radicals in the deepest part of your skin. And on top of that, chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your skin where they absorb the UVB rays, causing more DNA damage under your skin.
The easy answer – I know you hoped I had one – is a mineral sunscreen formulated with antioxidants that counteract the damaging free radicals.
Mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin where they block, rather than absorb, the sun. That means an SPF of 25 protects against both UVB damage that can easily be measured by how quickly your skin burns and the UVA rays that cause long-term damage to deeper layers of your skin.
It’s the free radicals — atoms without paired electrons — released by overexposure to the sun that harm your skin at the cellular level. They rip through collagen and elastin fibers, leading to wrinkles, dark spots and saggy skin. And free radicals are the ultimate cause of most skin cancers.
You can’t avoid free radicals, even if you totally avoid the sun, but antioxidants combat them by “donating” an electron to the unbalanced atom, effectively halting the process. That’s why Stream2Sea’s sunscreen and body care products are packed with powerful antioxidants that take protection from the sun a step further than just blocking its rays.
- Green tea is well-known for its benefits as a beverage. Used topically, green tea is a potent antioxidant that also helps to reduce redness.
- Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is a highly effective adaptogen, which increases your body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and restore normal function.
- Aloe is one of the most well-known remedies for overexposure to the sun because it’s cooling and soothing. Containing multiple antioxidants, aloe is also a non-greasy moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated.
- Olive leaf extract, often used as an antioxidant supplement, is packed with phytonutrients to protect against the free radicals that cause cellular damage.
- Wakame bioferment made from a species of seaweed, (Undaria pinnatifida), targets the mitochondria, which contributes to the longevity of cells and minimizes damage at a cellular
- Olive leaf bioferment isolates and concentrates the unique antioxidants in olive leaves for more effective protection for sun-damaged skin.
Stream2Sea has set a new standard for EcoConscious sunscreen and skincare. Along with the required human safety and SPF tests, Stream2Sea products are proven to be readily biodegradable in both salt and fresh water and have passed a comprehensive series of aquatic toxicity tests. Formulated with powerful antioxidant blends to protect skin from sun damage, the Stream2Sea line includes safe sunscreens, conditioning shampoo and body wash, leave-in conditioner, nourishing body lotion and lip balms. Stream2Sea products are currently available online at www.Stream2Sea.com or ask for them at your favorite health food store, dive center or outdoor retailer. Friend us on Facebook or call (866) 960-9513.