Here comes the season’s sun! Time to be aware of the skin you are in and how it works for you in the sun as you take it outside to work or to play, to exercise and to be social. In today’s post Team Moondust Cosmetics® talks about your largest organ – skin, and the pigment melanin that gives colour to your skin, hair and eyes. Melanin can make all the difference as it affects your safety in the sun and your experience of it – be it beautiful or burnt. So, we’ll also dispel the myth about ‘white’ skinned people being most likely to burn.
Did you know each inch of your skin has approximately 19 million skin cells and 60,000 melanocytes (cells that make melanin or skin pigment)? It also contains 1,000 nerve endings and 20 blood vessels.
As your body’s largest organ, skin is made up of water, protein, fats and minerals and together they regulate your entire body’s temperature and let you feel hot and cold sensations via the nerves in the skin. It also protects you from germ invasions. It is a part of your ‘integumentary’ system which includes your body’s outer coverings: hair, nails, oil glands and sweat glands.
What is melanin?
The pigment we said that gives color to your skin, hair, and eyes is created by cells called melanocytes, which are found in the outer layer of your skin. We all have about the same number of melanocytes. However, some people’s cells make more melanin, as well as certain types of melanin, more than others. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin is.
The purpose of melanin is to protect your skin from sun damage. When you’re exposed to the sun, your skin creates even more melanin. This diagram and explanation of the Human Sunburn Cycle elucidated by Dr. Moondust shows what happens to your skin if you burn while exposed to the sun.
Is the caution true that white-skinned people burn more?
According to Dr. Moondust, primary researcher at Moondust Cosmetics and a cancer biologist, “the term “white” is confusing because actually there are four main types of human melanin – yellow, red, brown, and black – and everybody has some combination of these four in their skin (except albinos with white hair and pink eyes and skin, who lack any pigment at all).
Dr. Moondust explains further: People with the least melanin tend to burn in the sun whether they are “white” or not. An alternate colour descriptor we can use is a ‘rosy-pink complexion’ that is in a similar range of skin tones as albinos and reflects the most sunlight.
So, while the type of melanin you have determines your skin tone; it is the amount of melanin that is key here as more melanin results in a suntan, less melanin results in a sunburn. So, classifying people according to “skin colour” is not scientific since nobody has only one type of melanin.
Dr. Moondust suggests a more accurate way of identifying people for purposes of study is by their continent or country of origin e.g. European, Asian, Eurasian, Native American, etc.
She adds that, “just because you’re classified as “white”, it doesn’t mean you have fair skin. If we follow the more scientific continental designation which includes Europeans, Jewish populations, and people from the Near East, we see that there are many genetic variations within each of those groups and the majority in each subgroup tan and do not experience sunburn (this is a similar situation to many other groups of people around the world).
Her work as a cancer biologist, her study of skin, sunburns and cancer as well as our
environment’s effect on sunburn is as she says: “Why we’re here – because people with fair skin, who burn in the sun and are most susceptible to skin cancer, have actually been marginalized by the sunscreen industry and, basically, left to languish without proper suncare protection (APF) because SPF does not help them.
The signature formulation at Moondust Cosmetics®, Skin Protector Plus (SPP) is a natural suncare product designed to be both pleasant and easy to use, safe for reefs and the environment as well as meeting the special concerns about skin cancer in the family or recovering from it. (SPP provides an equivalent of 20 SPF coverage and can be applied alone or under make up. Since Moondust suncare excludes no one, it is also suitablefor people who tan in the sun and are susceptible to skin ageing and sunspots. (See the SPP product information page)
For more information, visit the Moondust Cosmetic’s website and check out the revolutionary product: Skin Protector Plus use coupon code Mothers2022BOGO at checkout if purchasing in time for Mother’s Day.
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