Photo-Protectors - Why Your Skin Needs Them

The most important way to prevent the early signs of aging is through prevention. Skincare ingredients that have Photo-Protectors properties do exactly that.

What are Photo-Protectors?

They have properties [compounds] to protect skin from damage caused by the sun and it's UV rays. They offer a preventative action against photoaging:

  • Boosting Antioxidant levels in the skin [topical application of antioxidants has been shown to affect the antioxidant network in the skin]
  • Preventing hyperpigmentation
  • Supporting the health of the skins connective tissue

While ingredients can offer Photo-Protectors properties they are not an alternative to Sun Protection Factor [SPF] ingredient, for example, zinc oxide. They offer a small amount of UV absorption along with antioxidant properties, these combined together offer the protection to prevent the early signs of aging. Ultraviolet [UV] radiation can cause sunburns, wrinkles, lower immunity against infections, premature aging, and cancer - exactly what we want to prevent! Therefore an SPF Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is a natural choice. Think of Photo-Protectors as the 'friend with benefits'!


Delphinidin Pomegranate Antioxidant // protects cell membrane lipids from oxidation // neutralise enzymes that destroy connective tissue // anti-inflammatory // repair damaged proteins 
Cyanidin + Delphinidin Cranberry Antioxidant // protects cell membrane lipids from oxidation // neutralise enzymes that destroy connective tissue // anti-inflammatory // repair damaged proteins 
Proanthocyanidin Berries // Rosehips DNA mutation inhibitor // block elastase // antioxidant // free radical scavenger
Resveratrol Blue Berries // Cranberries // Billberries Antioxidant // anti-inflammatory // antitumoral // antimutagenic
Quercetin Citrus fruit // Lemon // Carrot Anti-inflammatory // Prevention of UVA/UVB induced skin carcinogenesis
Apigenin Evening Primrose // Green Tea // Sunflower // Cranberry Prevention of UVA//UVB induced skin carcinogenesis // anti-inflammatory
Curcumin Turmeric Antioxidant // free radical scavenger //
anti-inflammatory // antitumoral


Milk Thistle

Antitumor effect // Antioxidant //  Prevents UVB-induced immune suppression & oxidative stress

Carotenoids Sea Buckthorn // Carrot Antioxidant // free radical scavenger


Bolstering the antioxidant defense system of the skin is a potentially important strategy for reducing environmentally induced skin damage. We can do this by topically applying plant oils and extracts which contain both Photo-Protectors and Antioxidant compounds.

Plant oils as Photo-Protectors photo-protectors

The antioxidant vitamin E (α-tocopherol) may protect both animal and plant cell membranes from light-induced damage. The topical application of these antioxidants to the skin has been shown to reduce acute and chronic photodamage. Topically applied, only the natural forms of vitamin E—alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol—effectively reduce skin roughness, the length of facial lines, and the depth of wrinkles. Topically applied vitamin E increases the hydratation of the stratum corneum and increases its water-binding capacity. Alpha-tocopherol reduces the harmful collagen-destroying enzyme collagenase, which unfortunately increases in aging skin. Vitamin E is a free radical scavenger and an emollient too. 

EXAMPLES: Vitamin E-Content (Greatest first ) - these are the rich botanical sources I have included in the formulation of my Hero face product (launching soon)

  • Sea Buckthorn Seed & Berry Oil  
  • Raspberry Seed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Borage Seed Oil
  • Avocado Fruit Oil

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is the body's most important intracellular and extracellular antioxidant. Vitamin C provides many benefits to the skin—most significantly, increased synthesis of collagen and photo-protection. Photo-protection is enhanced by the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C. Photo-protection over many months allows the skin to correct the previous photodamage, the synthesis of collagen and inhibition of MMP-1 was proven to decrease wrinkles, and the inhibition of tyrosinase and anti-inflammatory activity result in depigmenting'solar lentigines' [a harmless patch of darkened skin]. Vitamin C is found in active form and substantial quantities in water-soluble Rosehip seed extract. (Note Vitamin C is water-soluble so it is not present in Rosehip Seed oil, however, Rosehip seed and fruit oil do show similar actions [properties] to water-soluble Vitamin C more research is needed to understand the compounds responsible)

Silymarin is a flavonoid compound found in the seeds of milk thistle consists of the following three phytochemicals: silybin, silibinin, and silicristin. Silybin is the most active phytochemical. Topical silymarin has been shown to have a remarkable antitumor effect. Silymarin reduced UV-induced sunburn cell formation and apoptosis. Silymarin treatment prevents UVB-induced immune suppression and oxidative stress.

These two acids have been demonstrated to protect phospholipidic membranes from UV-induced peroxidation by inhibiting propagation of the lipid peroxidative chain reaction and to react with nitrogen oxides. Caffeic acid and, at a greater degree, ferulic acid proved effective in protecting human skin from UVB-induced erythema. Ferulic acid, shown to be a strong UV absorber, and can be employed as a photoprotective agent.
Caffeic Acid & Ferulic Acid FOUND // Borage Seed Oil // 
Caffeic Acid FOUND: *Willow Bark Extract
(*these examples are ingredients used in my formulation)
Other Examples Include:
Caffeic Acid Coconut Oil // Soybean Oil // Sunflower Oil 
Ferulic Acid Coconut Oil // Rice Bran Oil // Soybean Oil // Wheat Germ Oil

Borage oil stimulates skin cell activity and encourages skin regeneration. It contains high levels of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), making it useful in treating all skin disorders, particularly allergies, dermatitis, inflammation, and irritation. Borage penetrates the skin easily and benefits all skin, particularly dry, dehydrated, mature, or prematurely-aging skin.

Methylellagic acid - (Ellagic) is a polyphenolic compound that is found in pomegranates along with red raspberries and other fruits. It is an antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent skin cancer as well as preventing UV damage and wrinkle formation. Ellagic acid also lightens and brightens the skin. 

Punicic Acid  - (Conjugated fatty acids) An omega 5 fatty acid present in pomegranate seeds, punicic acid reduces skin inflammation and aids in skin repair. It also hydrates our skin and prevents moisture loss. This fatty acid protects the skin from sun damage and fends off free radicals.
Sterols - (Daucosterol, Camesterol) phytosterols are plant-based ‘sterols’, which are basically complex unsaturated alcohol that resemble lipids and form the foundation for steroids. Studies have shown that these plant sterols can mimic cholesterol and prevent its depletion in human epidermal keratinocyte membranes, thereby reducing photosensitivity and providing protection from photo-aging.

Polyphenol Compound - Ellagic acid, present in Raspberry seed oil, is a natural antioxidant and has been shown to reduce the destruction of collagen in the skin and promote cellular regeneration. (Remember the destruction of Collagen leads to wrinkle formation and sagging skin.) Ellagic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation due to chronic UV exposure which can lead to photoaging.
Potent Antioxidants - Especially high in Tocopherol (Vitamin E) along with Carotenoids (precursors of Vitamin A), acting as important free-radical scavengers helping to reduce skin damage caused by UV radiation and pollution. Antioxidants assist in the revitalization of dull skin, stimulate cell repair and importantly protect it from further damage! 

TAMANU OIL - Has even at low concentration has exhibited significant UV absorption properties and was associated with an important sun protection factor (18-22). Tamanu oil appeared to act as a cytoprotective agent against oxidative stress and DNA damage (85% of the DNA damage induced by UV radiations were inhibited with 1% oil) Tamanu oil thus exhibited antioxidant and cytoprotective properties and therefore might serve, for the first time, as a natural UV filter.

Avocado oil is rich in vitamin E, β–carotene, vitamin D, protein, lecithin, and fatty acids and offers considerable benefits when added to topical skincare by soothing and protecting the skin. The high concentration of antioxidant carotenoids that provide natural protection against the effects of UV rays.
A protecting and regenerating oil.


CONCLUSION Our HERO [face] product is launching 2019 and has been formulated with a high concentration of both Antioxidants and Photo-Protector active compounds, working synergistically as a defense system for your skin. Used daily AM and PM to prevent damage and help repair environmental damage (pollution).


Until next time..

be human | be kind | be you














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  • Your Prescription for Ageless skin. Vienna: You look so young LLC; 2006.
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  • Cytoprotective effect against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress: role of new biological UV filter. Said T1, Dutot M, Martin C, Beaudeux JL, Boucher C, Enee E, Baudouin C, Warnet JM, Rat P.

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