Ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation, with a wavelength of 290-320 nm*, results in sunburns and wrinkles, while reducing immunity. One’s skin should be protected from UV-B light from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. UV-B can cause redness, burn, immune suppression, thickening and darkening of the skin as well as skin cancer. Most sun blocks are effective for UV-B radiation, and each works in a fairly narrow range of light wavelengths.
Ultraviolet A (UV-A) radiation, with a wavelength of 320-400 nm, can occur even in the shade. UV-A causes the skin to form vitamin D, but can cause eye damage, skin cancer, immune suppression and may sensitize the skin to allergic reactions. Few sun blocks work well for UV-A radiation.
Skin care products can include natural products which block ultraviolet light. Antioxidants such as vitamin E (in wheat germ oil), vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids, play a major role in natural skin protection by promoting healing. Whole plant extracts are considered to be superior to single chemicals since chemicals are more complex when the whole plant is used. Anthocyanidins are found in blueberries and raspberries, and have a very powerful antioxidant effect to relieve irritation of the skin. Other chemicals include grape proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, apigenin, silymarin and quercetin.
Green tea and black tea contain tannic acid and theobromines which have been shown to protect the skin from UV radiation. Fortunately, aloe vera gel supports new skin cell growth. Ratanhia, from Peru, absorbs 25-30% of UV radiation compared to a test standard. A walnut water extract, using green shell English walnuts, makes a good sunblock/tanning agent.
Sesame oil prevents absorption of UV radiation. Coconut oil, peanut oil, olive oil and cottonseed oil absorb 20% of UV radiation. Borage, evening primrose, and cottonseed oils are healing to the skin. Oil of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) has been traditionally used for skin care and contains large amounts of essential fatty acids. Other protective chemicals include squalene (from olive oil), nucleotides and proteins. Natural blockers in the skin include proteins and lipids. Allantoin from the comfrey plant is soothing and healing as well.
CONCLUSION: A number of new natural products are available for UV skin protection. They include herbs and oils which block UV radiation and work as antioxidants and healing agents after skin damage has occurred.
NOTE: A previous study demonstrated that apples, plums and green tea were highly successful in preventing the wrinkling that occurs with ultraviolet light and aging. Milk thistle has been shown to help reduce sunburn when taken orally.
*nm is the abbreviation for nanometer.
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Rainbow Grocery sells the following products: Anthocyanodin, apigenin, black tea, carotenoids, comfrey, grape seed extract, flavonoids, green tea, milk thistle, quercetin, resveratrol, sea buckthorn oil, silymarin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a wide variety of oils.
Summary #947. nutrientmedicine