As ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sunburns, wrinkles, lower immunity against infections, premature aging, and cancer, there is a permanent need for protection from UV radiation and prevention from their side effects. Antioxidants such as vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E), flavonoids, and phenolic acids play the main role in fighting against free radical species that are the main cause of numerous negative skin changes.
Acute response of human skin to UVB irradiation includes erythema, edema, and pigment darkening followed by delayed tanning, thickening of the epidermis and dermis, and synthesis of vitamin D; chronic UVB effects are photoaging, immunosuppression, and photocarcinogenesis.
Sunscreens are necessary to keep radiation from your skin. There are both chemical and physical types of sunscreens. There are two types of physical sunblocks that are mostly used: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both provide broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Most chemicals only block narrow region of the UV spectrum. Therefore, most chemical sunblocks are composed of several chemicals with each one blocking a different region of UV light. Mostly, chemicals used in sunblocks are active in UVB region. Only a few chemicals block the UVA region. The best sunblock is the sunblock that combine both chemical and physical active ingredients.
Some herbs that can help with sunburns are green and black tea, aloe vera, walnut extract, as well as others.
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Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.