How Sunlight Affects Our Skin: The Hidden Role of Iron and Aging

How Sunlight Affects Our Skin: The Hidden Role of Iron and Aging

We all know that the sun's rays can be harmful to our skin, but scientists have discovered something intriguing about how sunlight affects our skin on a microscopic level. They've been studying cells in our skin, and their findings reveal an important link between the sun's rays and iron, and how our skin ages.

Understanding Iron and Sun Exposure

Iron is an essential transition metal in our bodies that plays a crucial role in many processes. When we're exposed to sunlight, especially ultraviolet A (UVA), our skin can undergo some changes at the cellular level. These changes are what scientists wanted to understand better.

Imagine our skin cells having tiny protectors called "ferritin" that help guard against damage caused by sunlight. Think of ferritin as a shield against the harmful effects of sunlight. These protectors keep iron from causing problems with our cells when exposed to sunlight.

Surprising Discoveries

Scientists looked closely at how these protectors, or ferritin, respond to sunlight. They conducted experiments using special cells from our skin and exposed them to different amounts of UVA light, similar to what we get from the sun. What they found was fascinating.

When these cells were exposed to UVA light, something unexpected happened. The protectors, or ferritin, started to break down. This breakdown released a type of iron that could be harmful to our skin. This is a bit like losing part of our shield against the sun's damage. 

Additionally, the researchers noticed that other parts of our cells, called lysosomes, were affected. These lysosomes started to leak, which caused more problems. This leaking led to even more of the harmful iron being released.

What This Means for Our Skin

The breakdown of these protectors and the release of harmful iron might not be good news for our skin. This iron can cause damage and aging to our skin cells. It's like the cells are having a harder time defending themselves against the sun's effects.

The study also looked at how our cells try to repair themselves. They found that our cells try to make more of these protectors, or ferritin, after being exposed to sunlight. It's like our cells are trying to rebuild the shield.

Taking Care of Our Skin

All of this research gives us new insights into how sunlight affects our skin and what happens when our cells are exposed to UVA light. It shows that the ferritin in our cells can be both a protector and a troublemaker when it comes to sunlight.

Knowing this can help scientists develop new ways to keep our skin healthy and protect it from the sun's harmful effects. At i-On Skincare (, i-On’s patented de-ironizing inducer (DII®) technology has been developed to proactively empty the iron in ferritin, eliminating the troublemaker but keeping the protector. So, next time you're out in the sun, remember that there's a lot of happening at the tiniest level of your skin – Don’t forget to put i-On’s Age Disrupting Skin Cream or Skin Emulsion before sunscreens to make sure you can keep your skin safe and youthful.