Most of us wouldn't skip that daily dose of sunscreen – then why are so many of us still sporting sun damage, it could be due to 'dark damage'?
I have been a sun sinner in my time - ok it’s out there. And I have the scars in the form of brown spots on my face, neck and body to prove it. But perhaps that damage was not all caused by the sunshine.
What is it?
American Professor Douglas Brash, who led new research into DNA damage at Yale University believes: “If you look inside the adult skin, melanin does act as a shield. But it is doing both good and bad things.” The source of this ‘dark damage’ was found to be melanin, the pigment naturally found in your skin that normally acts as a shield against UV radiation is now damaging. Brash and his team have found that UV light produces chemical reactions, including the production of ‘super bleach’, which reacts with the melanin in the skin causing damage to your DNA. Simply put, the damage to your skin continues well after the sun goes down. Brash believes this UV damage can cause mutations to the skin cells that accumulate over time, which is turn, puts you at risk of these cells turning cancerous.
How to correct it?
In the study, Brash and his team showed that a common food preservative (potassium sorbate), was effective at blocking ‘dark damage’, although not ideal for rubbing on skin – the team also discovered vitamin E, was effective, and a much better option in skin care.
A famous skin healer, vitamin E is also brilliant for reducing acne scarring, and soothing sunburn, and now it seems to be the ideal ingredient as an extra insurance policy against further damage.