Even though sun damage may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, don’t let the cool weather fool you. Irreversible skin damage can happen all year round and excessive exposure to the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can have many adverse effects.
So, just wear sunscreen, right? Well, here’s the kicker.
Recent studies suggest that once exposed to UV, commercial sunscreens begin to breakdown. This breakdown not only compromises the sunscreen’s effectiveness, but the by-products can actually be harmful to the skin!
Looking for an alternative to commercial sunscreen, researchers from the Center for Drug Design (CDD) at the University of Minnesota have come up with compounds that mimic the body’s natural response to UV exposure while also stimulating enzymes that repair DNA.
The latest findings were recently published in an online publication of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The paper was co-authored by the product’s inventors, Robert Vince, Ph.D., director of the CDD, Abbas Raza, Ph.D. and Christine Dreis, along with senior scientist Jaime Nugent.
While commercial sunscreens typically protect skin by filtering, absorbing or reflecting UV, the CDD’s biomimetic compounds work differently than current products on the market, by mimicking how the body naturally responds to UV damage, but without causing any actual damage to the skin.
With the additional advantage of stimulating enzymes that repair DNA, this anti-aging answer to skin protection may be the next big thing.
“When sunlight hits skin, the skin’s DNA goes into a natural response, which can cause skin damage,” explained lead investigator Robert Vince, Ph.D., the Director of the CDD. “The body works to repair itself from this damage, but gives up over time if this repair process happens too often. This causes permanent damage to the skin.”
Vince explained that their new compounds so closely mimics DNA that in addition to protecting the skin from UV damage, the by-product of the compound actually activates the enzyme that repairs the skin.
The differentiating anti-aging benefits of the compound include:
- Preserves collagen levels and structure
- Prevents the epidermal from further thickening
- Could be added to a wide variety of skincare products
- Simultaneously boosts DNA repair enzymes and protects from UV
“This technology has peeked the interest of the international cosmetic industry, and we have begun working with skincare partners,” said Vince. “ We believe our compound has the full potential to change the way anti-aging cosmetics are viewed.”