Winter sun safety: Why sunscreen is essential during the colder months

Winter sun safety: Why sunscreen is essential during the colder months 1

As South Africans we are accustomed to the harsh summer sun, and are used to applying sunscreen before heading down to the beach, or going for a run. But did you know that the sun’s UV rays are equally dangerous during the colder months?

While you’re unlikely to experience a sunburn from UVB rays during winter, UVA rays (the ones that accelerate ageing) have the ability to wreak havoc on our skin, particularly on overcast days. “Even when it’s cold or overcast, UV rays that cause skin ageing and skin cancer are reaching your skin,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “In the right winter weather conditions, you can sustain sun damage just as easily as during the summer.”

UVA rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds and fog, meaning your skin is vulnerable even on days when the sun isn’t shining. Did you know that UVA rays can also penetrate glass? That means it’s possible for the sun’s rays to harm your skin on a bright winters’ day, while you’re indoors!

UVA rays can accelerate ageing, meaning more fine lines and wrinkles, but they also make the skin vulnerable to skin cancer. Enter Lamelle Helase 50 – a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers full protection from UVA, UVB, blue light and infrared light. More than just a sunscreen, this DNA-correcting photo-protection product is in a class of its own.

Most people don’t realise that what we think of as the symptoms of ageing, are actually due to deep-seated damage inside our skin cells caused by years of sun exposure. Sunlight physically damages (breaks apart) or mutates skin DNA over time. To a large degree, preventing this damage is the reason we wear sunscreen.

Conventional sunscreens fall short
The problem with currently available sunscreens is they have been developed to protect human skin from the most obvious of solar insults: ultraviolet A and B radiation. But our skin is susceptible to all five radiation subtypes, including visible light (radiation) and Infrared-A, B and C. If the only way to slow down the ageing process is to protect our skin against all these solar onslaughts, and conventional sunscreen is capable of protecting us from only two of the five, the case for more effective protection has never been stronger. That and the fact that the incidence of skin cancer still continues to climb!

Recognising this unmet need, Lamelle Research Laboratories developed Helase 50. Unlike so many other cosmetic products available, this truly is a first to market one of a kind cosmetic; a breakthrough in ageing treatment and it’s being heralded as potentially the best photo-protection product available.

Until now, sunscreen and antioxidants have been our only defence against DNA damage; there’s been no means of reversing already existing damage. But now, with Helase 50, it’s possible to not only prevent, but also physically correct damaged DNA (dangerous DNA breaks and “kinks” such as dimers which left untreated, can produce more ‘abnormal’ cells. Correction is therefore essential to return cell function to normal).

Winter sun safety: Why sunscreen is essential during the colder months 2

Helase 50 – More than just a sunscreen
Classified as a photo-protection product, Helase 50 can minimize the harmful effects of the full solar radiation spectrum. It includes several trailblazing technologies that set it apart from conventional sunscreens. The secret weapon in its formulation – that which is responsible for the correction process – is photolyase, a powerful DNA-repairing enzyme that’s missing in humans, but occurs naturally in most animals and plants. While we can’t produce our own photolyase, our body knows what to do with it when it’s introduced topically to the skin and the results are astounding. Another core ingredient often used in Lamelle products is Pycnogenol® (one of the most potent antioxidants available). Very simply, the inclusion of a Pycnogenol blend is what controls the inflammation typical from exposure and sunburn and it plays an important role in protecting the skin from damage.  There are several other enzymes, receptor inhibitors and filters that have been researched, tested, formulated and proven to deliver unprecedented protection.

Helase 50 – How to use it
Helase 50 has sunscreen filters and an SPF of 50+. It’s not waterproof and should be applied 10 – 15 minutes before exposure and re-applied 3 – 4 hourly if possible. There is no need to use a “regular” sunscreen if you use Helase 50. It is fragrance free, and anyone over the age of six months is a candidate for Helase 50, but particularly those with fair skin, multiple sun-spots, or a history of skin cancer. It’s the ideal product to use after you have had a moderate peel (once re-epithelialised), and post-laser therapy and IPL. 

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