Still think a regular broad spectrum SPF is enough? Guess again. Science now says even sunscreen SPF 50 is only effective 53% of the time – here’s how to get to a 100%
Fact: Broad spectrum SPF doesn’t offer your skin adequate protection from the sun. We recently showed that a 2012 study found that even a combination of SPF 50 and antioxidants can’t cover more than 53% of the total damage the sun does to your skin.
How is this possible? For years our elders, the media and popular opinion have told us to always “wear sunscreen”. But it’s important to remember that sunscreen is not a cultural phenomenon. It’s a photo-protecting technology. And like any technology, it eventually needs to be updated.
Since news broke that Lamelle Research Laboratories has created Helase 50, the first and only known product in South Africa to offer 100% sun protection, we’ve received many comments and questions regarding the product. And in this post we set out try and answer one of the most prominent: “What is the real difference between broad-spectrum sunscreen and Helase?”
A quick history of sunscreen
Humans have known to protect our skins from the sun for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used plant extracts, but zinc oxide has been in use widely across the world for centuries. The first synthetic sunscreens only appeared in the 1920s and were refined in the 1940s (during the world war). But SPF, the global standard for measuring sun protection factor only emerged in 1946 – it was only SPF 2 back then.
You might remember a time when sunscreens where still specifically made for protection from either UVA or UVB (two different wavelengths of sunlight). More recently, these two have been combined in what we call broad-spectrum sunscreen today. Broad spectrum basically means UVA plus UVB protection.
The shortcomings of broad spectrum SPF
While broad spectrum was the best we could do for a while, science is now aware of damage from many more wavelengths of sunlight than before. And to put it quite simply, broad-spectrum sunscreen covers you for only a small part of the light we know of today.
This image shows what a small portion of light SPF 50 actually covers:
While there are 800 nm (units) of sunlight wavelengths, about 720 nm of which penetrate our atmosphere, broad-spectrum SPF 50 covers you for only 120 nm.
That’s 120 out of a possible 720, or a mere 16% of all the damaging sunlight. And, you might have guessed, it’s simply not enough. We still get long-term sun damage, premature ageing and even skin cancer, even if we wear sunscreen.
The study we referenced above combined SPF 50 use with the use of antioxidants, to give at least 53% protection from the potential damage from the sun, but even that is not enough.
The Lamelle Helase 50 difference
Lamelle’s Helase 50 actually contains SPF 50 and a host of incredible antioxidants, to rival broad-spectrum sunscreen’s 53% effectiveness in protecting against any damage. But then Helase also goes well beyond that.
Helase 50 offers protection against potential damage across the entire spectrum of sunlight. This is an image of the same light spectrum as before, but it shows that Helase has various parts that protect across 100%:
To cover you for all the different types of possible sun damage, across the entire sunlight spectrum (100%), Helase not only protects your skin from damage, but is also able to reverse already existing sun damage – something sunscreens simply cannot do.
To fully grasp the importance of this function, consider this video explaining how the sun damages the DNA in your skin:
Thus, while it’s important to block UVA and UVB, like SPF 50 does, the other parts of the light spectrum cause devastating DNA damage, which leads to premature ageing and illness later in life.
What’s in Helase that makes it different?
- SPF 50 – for the basic sun protection
- AhR blocker – by blocking the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, Helase stems the activity of dreaded collagen-killing MMPs
- TRPV1 blocker – the capsaicin receptor TRPV1 plays a role in cell-damaging oxidative stress, and by blocking it, Helase helps prevent and manage oxidation in the body
- Antioxidants – including the lauded Pycnogenol®, the most powerful oral antioxidant you can take, to boost your immune system and manage oxidative stress
- 80GG-1 – to counteract indirect dimers (DNA damage), this naturally occurring enzyme helps boost your body’s NER systems, promoting better natural DNA repair and healing
- Photolyase – the enigmatic miracle enzyme that’s absent in humans (but present in most animals and plants), with an incredible ability to heal dimer and DNA damage that our bodies otherwise just can’t repair.
Helase 50 is available from your aesthetic clinic. Ask your therapist about Helase, for the new standard in sun protection and DNA damage reversal.
Got a Helase or sun damage question or tip? Join the conversation in the comments below.