Ladival Sun Cream and Infrared Damage
No part of a skincare routine is more important than sun protection. I’ve said it before on The Scientific Beauty but I cannot emphasise the point enough: you can use all the fancy creams in the world but repeated exposure to the suns rays will speed up the aging process! It’s especially important to look after your skin when you’re going abroad so on my recent trip to gorgeous Italy I made sure I was prepared. Ladival Sun Protection has a unique combination of protecting properties, claiming to protect against UVA, UVB and infrared-A rays, so I put it to the test on location in the Italian lakes to see how they got on…
I tested Ladival SPF30 spray (£19.99) and SPF50+ lotion (£19.99), both with ‘advanced infrared-A protection system’. In terms of texture and feel I was impressed with both of the products; often higher protection sun creams can feel thick and greasy on the skin with a strong scent (you know the one!) but I found that both Ladival products were light and easy to rub into skin without leaving big white smears and without feeling suffocatingly greasy. I applied the products everywhere every day; I used the SPF30 spray on my arms, legs and body and the SPF50 on my hands and feet where I know I burn particularly easily (pale girls problems!). The great news is that I got through the entire holiday without burning so clearly Ladival are doing something right!
So what science is lurking in the Ladival bottle? If we take the SPF30 spray perhaps unsurprisingly there is a whole host of UV protecting ingredients in there. There is phenylbenzimdazole sulphonic acid to take care of the UVB rays which are the ones that cause that sunburnt-lobster look if you’re not careful. For the skin-aging UVA rays that penetrate more deeply into the skin and cause collagen breakdown there is industry favourite avobenzone. And just to make sure that you’re totally covered from UVA and UVB rays there are also a whole host of broad spectrum physical sunscreen ingredients too (diethylhexyl butamido triazone, titanium dioxide and bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine – try saying those after a few glasses of prosecco!).
There is also an ingredient called octocrylene which enhances the protection properties of the other sunscreen ingredients which could account for Ladival SPF30’s staying power. (The Beauty Brains has a great post on octocrylene and why you shouldn’t take any notice of the chemophobic scaremongering surrounding this ingredient…)
So far so good, but what about all these claims about protection against infrared-A? Is this something we should be worried about as well as the standard UV rays? Infrared rays are otherwise known, quite simply, as heat. Your laptop/mobile phone is probably emitting infrared radiation right now. There is some evidence from a study in humans (not cells in a petri dish for once) that infrared-A rays can penetrate into the lower layers of the skin and cause the production of an aging, collagen-destroying protein. Less collagen means more wrinkles. Though this study is promising more studies need to be done to determine whether we should be worried about this type of exposure, but can Ladival help us in the meantime?
These scientists also found evidence that topical application of a mix of antioxidants could decrease damage by infrared-A caused by depletion of antioxidants in the skin. The levels of skin antioxidants were depleted after just 5 minutes of infrared exposure, though levels returned to normal 24 hours after. The cocktail of antioxidants used in this study reduced antioxidant exposure and are present here in the Ladival products: grape seed extract, vitamin e, vitamin c and coenzyme q10, though the type of coenzyme Q10 here is the wrong type – the type used on the study is only available for research purposes and was incidentally the only type that worked… More studies are needed to confirm this beneficial activity during infrared exposure and indeed studies could be done on the Ladival products themselves to back up their bold (and extremely vague!) claims on the website. However the results presented are promising and incorporation of this research into the Ladival products can only be a good thing as far as skin protection is concerned.
It’s a huge thumbs up from The Scienctific Beauty for Ladival! Though slightly more pricey than some well-known suncare brands the Ladival products were fantastic quality, did an excellent job of preventing my pale skin from burning and could even be protecting your skin from little known damage from infrared-A rays too.