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Photoageing and summer skin care

Premature ageing can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle, which includes, among other things, avoiding the harmful effects of UV rays, so let me talk about this first.


We know two processes of skin ageing, internal and external ageing.


All ageing is the result of internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) ageing.


Internal ageing is a natural process in which genetics, hormones and metabolic processes in particular are involved, and we cannot influence it. However, external ageing is further accelerated by the influence of external factors, especially ultraviolet radiation, with the formation of radicals playing a key role.


External, extrinsic skin ageing depends on exposure to various environmental factors. Unlike internal ageing, it can be slowed down. Extrinsic ageing is caused by many factors (polluted atmosphere, some chemicals, exposure to the sun or UV radiation, wind, cold) and lifestyle (cigarette smoke, alcohol, inadequate diet, lack of sleep, stress). One of the main environmental factors that affects premature skin ageing (causes as much as 80% of changes associated with ageing) is UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources, so such ageing is also called photoageing. The first signs of external ageing appear mainly on the sun-exposed, unprotected parts of the body – on the face, back of the hands and neck.

Let me explain how UV light affects our skin, especially UVA and UVB light, which can pass through the ozone layer.

UVA light can penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB as it can reach the dermis. It stimulates the synthesis of melanin in the skin, is responsible for the formation of reactive oxygen radicals that cause damage to nucleic acids, proteins and lipids, and for the formation of oxidative stress in the skin. Its detrimental effects are manifested in damage to collagen and elastin, leading to photoageing. UVB light mainly affects the epidermis. It causes direct damage to nucleic acids as well as radical formation and lipid oxidation. It is the cause of burns and hypersensitivity reactions.


Characteristics of photoaged skin


UV rays damage the nuclei of germinal keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts during penetration through the epidermis and dermis. The skin is dry after sunbathing, it can also be cracked and dull.

Due to the faster proliferation of melanocytes, pigment signs appear – sunspots. Prolonged exposure to UV rays also damages fibroblasts, so the maturation and formation of connective fibers is disturbed, and there are fewer mucopolysaccharides that bind water. Most of the damage to the skin is caused by the enzymes metalloproteinase (activated by the resulting radicals), which break down collagen and elastin. There is a decrease in the amount of collagen and cross-linking of collagen fibers, and at the same time damage to elastin. The skin loses firmness, elasticity, moisture and tension and becomes wrinkled.


The severity of skin changes depends on the phototype of the skin, the time of exposure to harmful climate change and its own defence mechanisms.


Prolonged or repeated exposure to UV radiation depletes the capacity of antioxidant systems in the skin. A state of oxidative stress occurs, leading to photoageing of the skin.


Let me say here that the body also defends itself against the harmful effects of solar radiation. It triggers the synthesis of melanin, which absorbs UV light. However, the skin also has a natural antioxidant system with which it manages oxidative stress. This antioxidant system consists of vitamins C and E and coenzyme Q10, among others. Antioxidants can be consumed during radical neutralisation, so protection is limited by their amount in the tissues.


We can contribute a lot to slowing down premature external ageing by timely and proper skin care (moisturising, adding lipids, adding antioxidants…), with proper protection against the harmful effects of UV rays, as well as with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle.

With external consumption of antioxidants such as e.g. gamma-oryzanol and vitamins C and E, we can supplement the protection provided by UV filters.


In natural cosmetics, we do not use synthetic organic UV filters, but inorganic (mineral UV filters), such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. I mainly use zinc oxide, a mineral filter that reflects mainly UVA and UVB rays and offers our skin good protection from the sun’s rays. In the home production of sunscreens, I must point out that it is very difficult to determine the protection factor, so regular application of the cream is very important or it is better to buy natural sunscreen. 


There are quite a few natural active ingredients in the cosmetic product that will additionally protect the skin from the effects of UV rays: green tea, aloe vera, caffeic acid, calendula, licorice extract, carrot extract, resveratrol, some natural oils and butters and tocopherol (vitamin E). An important representative of photoprotective compounds is also gamma-oryzanol, which is obtained from rice bran and rice oil.


Before each exposure to the sun’s rays, we must protect ourselves with sunscreen, which must be repeatedly reapplied during the day. Use sunscreens that provide good sun protection (I recommend a factor of 20) while being rich in vitamins and plant extracts. It is good to go to the sun early enough when its rays are not yet in full force. Despite the use of sunscreen, it is important to avoid the sun as much as possible between 11 am and 4 pm. Apply the sunscreen thick enough and repeat the application after each jump into the water and wiping with a towel.


Skin care is extremely important throughout the year. In summer, when it is exposed to the sun and high temperatures, it is necessary to take even more care of it due to dehydration. We need to choose products that restore moisture to the skin and drink a sufficient amount of water. In summer, we are not only exposed to the sun, but also to chlorine and sea salt, which further dries our skin. The skin loses moisture and natural fat even faster and ages faster. However, because we all want our skin to be undamaged and youthful for as long as possible, we need to take good care of it. Care should be carefully chosen and, of course, natural.

I invite you to take a look at the website of the Mayarula cosmetic line (www.mayarula.si) and get to know completely natural and effective skincare line that help you express your natural beauty. The ingredients of the Mayarula skincare line are really environmentally friendly and have no side effects. In addition, your skin will be nourished, moisturised, smooth, radiant, supple and healthy looking.

In addition to moisture, the skin needs gentle care with lipids, vitamins and antioxidants that protect the skin and maintain its natural protective layer. By choosing the right products, we will create a protective film (occlusion) on the skin, which helps the skin retain moisture. With these products, we will re-establish and strengthen the skin’s natural protective coat, and antioxidants regenerate the skin and prevent ageing.


Moisturisers increase the water content in the skin. These include compounds found in the skin’s natural moisturising factor, e.g. amino acids and their salts, other organic acids and their salts (lactic acid, Na-lactate, Na-pyrrolidone carboxylate), glycerol and urea. Other water-binding compounds are also effective, e.g. hyaluronic acid and other polysaccharides (gums and mucus), proteins (elastin, collagen, milk, wheat and silk proteins), sugars and sugar alcohols (glycerol, honey, sorbitol) and other organic moisturisers (allantoin, betaine, urea).


Examples of moisturisers found in our products are: hyaluronic acid, sodium pyrrolidone carboxylate, glycerol, sodium lactate, betaine, allantoin, vegeluron, aloe vera and some other plant extracts.


Emollients and occlusives also act in synergy with moisturisers. They make a semi-permeable layer on the skin, which inhibits the evaporation of water or transepidermal water loss. This increases the hydration of the skin. Waxes, natural butters and oils have an occlusive effect as a source of triglycerides and essential fatty acids and some other substances. With them, we improve the function of the lipid barrier and supply the skin with its own lipids.


Antioxidants are substances that slow down, prevent or eliminate the possibility of oxidative damage to the skin, thereby reducing oxidative stress and inhibiting ageing. Antioxidants help the body fight the harmful effects of free radicals. These are unstable molecules that destroy other molecules, cause damage to DNA, lipids and proteins, which change their composition and function, leading to the ageing of the organism and many diseases. The body defends itself against them with its own antioxidant systems. Oxidative and antioxidant processes are constantly in balance in a healthy organism. In the case of excessive radical formation, we say that oxidative ageing of the substance takes place and that the organism is in a state of oxidative stress. The formation of radicals is also influenced by ionising and ultraviolet radiation.


Antioxidants maintain the normal functioning of cells, prevent inflammation of the skin and slow down its ageing, so they are extremely popular ingredients in cosmetics. They neutralise free radicals and thus prevent damage to the skin. They help against losing firmness and elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Antioxidants can be soluble in oil (e.g. coenzyme Q10, vitamin E) or water-soluble (ascorbic acid – vitamin C, green tea – catechin).

An outstanding antioxidant is coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 protects cell membranes from harmful radicals and premature ageing. It activates cell metabolism and is suitable for mature skin. In addition to its antioxidant action, it is also distinguished by its regenerative action. It limits the degradation of skin collagen, promotes the growth of healthy cells and reduces the depth of wrinkles.

Some plant extracts found in the products of the Mayarula cosmetic line also have antioxidant effects: green tea extract, acerola extract, beech bud extract, ginkgo tincture, pomegranate extract, black grape extract or grape leaf extract, CO2 carrot extract …


In addition to antioxidants, vitamins as cosmetically active ingredients are also popular in cosmetic products for mature skin care, i.e. anti-ageing products, and in sunscreen products. Vitamin C and vitamin E are also best known for their antioxidant properties. Vitamin E reduces skin damage due to ultraviolet radiation, smoothes the skin surface, increases the moisture of the stratum corneum, inhibits inflammation, promotes cell renewal and accelerates wound healing. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) works in synergy with lipophilic alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Ascorbic acid and its more stable semi-synthetic derivatives, such as e.g. ascorbyl palmitate derivatives, express an antioxidant effect on the skin and protect it from damage by ultraviolet radiation. They also express a lightening effect, as they inhibit the synthesis of melanin.


What should skin care look like in summer:


In the morning, the care should be your usual routine; we clean the skin as usual and apply the cream we use every morning. In summer, use light moisturisers to moisturise. If you feel that your skin needs more than a moisturiser, you can of course opt for a more nourishing cream that will nourish your skin with fats and vitamins.


It is good to add some moisturising serum to moisturising skin care creams.

Especially in the summer, the skin should not lack moisture. The sun, salt and chlorine dry the epidermis, so we need to pamper it with moisturising serums, creams and masks that we can prepare from fruit ourselves at home. Of course, I recommend Mayarula Moisturising Day Cream and Floral Moisturising Serum. Together they are in the MINI MORNING RITUAL set.

By using hydrating products, we prevent skin drying out and a formation of a wrinkle or two.  The care of our face is the most important, as the skin on the face is most exposed to external influences. During the day, it is recommended to drink enough water and eat refreshing fruits and vegetables. The skin needs a lot of moisture, especially in summer; hydration is important both from the outside and from the inside.


We can pamper our body with various natural oils. The oils will additionally nourish our skin and make it soft and supple. These are e.g. olive, almond, avocado, jojoba, argan, coconut oil … It is best to apply them immediately after showering when the skin is still slightly moist.


I wrote about applying sunscreen at the beginning of this blog. It is important to care for your hands with sunscreen. The skin on the hands is thinner than elsewhere and is exposed to the weather all year round. It is on the back that age spots first appear. Moisture and natural fat are lost even faster when exposed to the sun, and they age even faster. By no means should we forget the cream with a protective factor and apply it extensively on the neck and décolleté. Freckles can also appear on the décolleté due to unprotected sun exposure.


In summer, we should not forget about care during sunbathing, as the sun’s rays dry out the skin. The skin can be refreshed with various moisturising sprays. So is my Floral Toner with aloe vera.


The toner is important because it restores the skin’s physiological pH, which has collapsed due to negative environmental influences (mainly due to the sun in summer). In addition, the toner soothes, regenerates and moisturises the skin. It contains aloe vera extract, which moisturises the skin, and green tea extract, which has a strong antioxidant effect, and of course other great ingredients.


After sunbathing, aloe vera also has a beneficial effect on our skin. You can help yourself with it if you get sunburns from excessive sun exposure. Excessive exposure to the sun’s rays on the skin leaves consequences that can also be seen in the form of sunburn, so care after sunbathing is even more important. The skin needs to be regenerated, any pain and inflammation can be alleviated, and it must be cooled. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, lavender hydrosol and essential oil, calendula macerate, St. John’s wort macerate can help us with this…

It is also very important that the skin care is natural. Be careful that skin care and sunscreen products do not contain artificial preservatives – parabens and petroleum products, as these substances often cause itching and acne.

It is also important that the products do not contain alcohol, which dries out the skin in higher concentrations. Also, the product should not contain artificial fragrances and dyes, which, in addition to parabens, are the main causes of allergic reactions.

E-book Mayarula – Natural skincare

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