There are many benefits of being outdoors in the sun including getting our source of vitamin D. However, the sun also has a negative effect on our skin. It not only causes skin cancers but can also cause photo-aging. The culprit? Ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
UV radiation is divided into UVA and UVB. UVB causes damage in the upper layer of our skin known as the epidermis and is considered a major contributor to sunburn and non-melanoma skin cancers. UVA also contributes to sunburns and skin cancers but is also believed to be the primary cause of photo-aging. It causes damage to DNA which if left unrepaired can lead to skin cancer. UVB also increases the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can overwhelm the antioxidant defence capacity, leading to oxidative stress which in turn results in photo-aging. For this reason, natural antioxidants play a role in fighting against photo-ageing.