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What Is Ecamsule Sunscreen And What Does It Do?

Apr 11, 2008
As recently as 20 years ago, most people still lacked a clear understanding of the toll that the sun can take on our skin and long-term health. We basked in the sunlight, hoping for a dazzling tan, not realizing that such exposure could have severe consequences in the years to come. Today, we know better. We understand that excessive exposure to the sun without adequate protection often comes with a steep price. We recognize the gradual damage that sunlight can have on our skin. That's why nearly all doctors and dermatologists recommend using sunscreen if you intend to subject yourself to the sun's rays. Below, you'll learn about the different types of ultraviolet rays and how a chemical called ecamsule offers protection from their onslaught.

The Difference Between UVA And UVB Rays

When you hear the phrase "ultraviolet rays," you may not realize that there are different types: most notably, UVA and UVB. When you spend the day at the beach without sunscreen, the sunburn you experience comes from UVB rays. These same rays are largely responsible for skin cancer. UVA rays, on the other hand, filter deeper into your skin. While these rays don't cause sunburns, they can result in longer-term skin damage such as accelerated aging, wrinkles and other skin conditions. UVA rays have also been linked to skin cancer. In order to protect your skin and your health while exposed to the sun, you need to use a sunscreen that provides a shield from both types of rays.

Sun Protection Through Ecamsule

Many types of sunscreens don't provide adequate protection against both UVA and UVB rays. A few, such as Anthelios and Mexoryl sunscreens do offer such protection. These sunscreens contain a chemical called ecamsule, known for its effectiveness in stabilizing under direct sunlight. By using ecamsule along with the active water-soluble Mexoryl SX and oil-soluble Mexoryl XL ingredients, Anthelios sunscreens can help prevent the harmful effects of the sun's rays.

How Ecamsule Works

Ultraviolet rays from the sun are not merely deflected by your sunscreen. They are absorbed by the ecamsule ingredient (if you're using an Anthelios sunscreen with Mexoryl). Once absorbed, a molecular process known as photoisomerization occurs, after which the ultraviolet rays are discharged as thermal energy.

Both types of ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) are defined based upon the length of the rays measured in nanometers. UVB rays are shorter, generally measuring between 280-320 nanometers. UVA rays are measured up to 400 nanometers. The ecamsule ingredient found in the most effective sunscreens can offer protection against all ultraviolet rays in the range of 290-400 nanometers. While ecamsule doesn't shield you from all UV rays, it is one of the most potent agents in sunscreens available.

Investing In Your Long-Term Health

We often take our health and exposure to the sun for granted. Ironically, we do this largely because we're unable to see the gradual impact the sun has on us. But, the consequences of long-term excessive exposure to both UVA and UVB rays can be severe. While most people think that any sunscreen can offer adequate protection, experts agree that those which contain the ecamsule agent provide the most effective protection. Ultimately, your health and longevity is in your control. Take the steps necessary to ensure you and your family have sufficient protection from the sun.
About the Author
Sharmani P. is the owner of an online skincare store that specializes in both Mexoryl sunscreen and anthelios sunscreen from La Roche Posay.
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