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  • How much can I reduce the time I need in the sun by applying Pro-Sun D Serum?

With the application of Pro-Sun D Serum, you would decrease your sun exposure by around a third of what would be otherwise necessary.

  • How should I use Pro-Sun D Serum?

You can incorporate the Pro-Sun D Serum into your regular skincare routine. We would recommend using it where you would typically use your serum, although you can use it in conjunction with your daily serum.

The Pro-Sun D Serum should be applied daily, in the morning, or before sun exposure. We recommend getting 5 to 15 minutes of unprotected, direct sun exposure to effectively activate the Pro-Sun D Serum.

Should you choose to, our Sunscreen can be applied after the activation of Vitamin D to ensure that you are protected for an extended period in the sun.

  • Do I need to rinse the Pro-Sun D Serum off after sun exposure?

No, there is no need. Even after sun exposure, the Pro-Sun D Serum has skin benefits.

  • Is this product safe for pregnant clients?

Yes, it is safe.

  • Is the Pro-Sun D Serum affected by sweat?

Sweating is not an issue, but the wiping of sweat off your skin may remove some of the product.

  • Will the Pro-Sun D Serum be effective after swimming?

Yes, the 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) will largely be bound, so you can swim with it and it will maintain its efficacy.

  • Does the Pro-Sun D Serum interact with any medication?

No, Provitamin D is a natural component of your sebum. An interaction with any topical or oral medication is unlikely.

  • Would boosting the Vitamin D production in your skin with the Pro-Sun D Serum counteract the negative effects of the UVA?

UVA in sunlight presents negative effects mainly due to over-exposure to the skin. Short, safe periods of sun exposure, not exceeding the minimal erythemal dose (MED), mean that you will be reap the benefits of healthy Vitamin D levels, without risking premature ageing. Healthy levels of vitamin D in skin also help it to deal with stressors like UVA more effectively.

  • How is Vitamin D generated by sun exposure and transported from the skin into the body fat cells?

Your skin naturally secretes Provitamin D (7-dehydrocholesterol) as part of sebum. UVB rays in sunlight convert this compound to Previtamin D, which then isomerises to Vitamin D3 to be absorbed into skin and into the bloodstream.

  • What are scientifically-backed benefits of Vitamin D for the skin and body?

Vitamin D has been shown to have multiple benefits on the skin and body. With our Pro-Sun D Serum, we are focusing specifically on skin health and the skin associated benefits. We do not claim any systemic benefits.

›  Regulate epidermal differentiation - s41574-019-0312-5
›  Regulate innate immunity - Piemonti L, Monti P, Sironi M et al. Vitamin D3 affects differentiation, maturation, and function of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells. J Immunol 2000: 164: 4443–4451. ; ; DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0625.2008.00768.x›  Promote barrier function - have also created a document called the “Science behind Pro-Sun D”, which wewould recommend reading.

  • How does the Pro-Sun D Serum work in combination with UV?In the presence of UVB, Provitamin D is converted into Previtamin D and finally into Vitamin D that is absorbed into the skin. The Pro-Sun D Serum contains Provitamin D (the starting material to Vitamin D) to help your skin to boost Vitamin D synthesis even with low sun exposure.

  • When is the ideal time to take the 5-min Sun Spa?

    This will depend upon the time of day, how far you are from the equator, and the season, because the sun has to be at an angle of at least 30° in the sky for vitamin D production. The DMinder App is very useful in determining when would be a good time to get the most out of your Sun Spa. Alternatively, when your shadow is the same length as your height, the sun is at 45, which means Vitamin D can be produced, so you can use your shadow as a rough guide as well.

  • How does age and phototype affect Vitamin D synthesis?

    Provitamin D naturally occurs in our sebum and, as we age, the amount of Provitamin D in our skin lipids decreases, resulting in lower Vitamin D production. This leads to thin, unhealthy skin.

    Vitamin D production is slower in higher phototypes, so more sun exposure is needed.

  • Can the Pro-Sun D be incorporated into the routines of non Esse users?

    We always recommend using Esse products exclusively. However, as this is a single- active serum, it can be incorporated into any skin routine with any skin concern.

  • How do you measure Vitamin D in the skin as opposed to the body, and what are considered “ideal” levels? How long does it take to see a change in the skin’s levels?

Measuring vitamin D levels in skin is not common practice, as it would be invasive, probably requiring biopsies to be taken. However, the skin is the first place you’d see an increase in vitamin D levels, showing an immediate increase as vitamin D production takes place.

Systemic Vitamin D is measured by undergoing blood tests. The World Health Organisation’s limit for deficiency is below 30nmol/L, but depending on the lab used, a result as low as 25nmol/L can be seen as “normal”. East African hunter-gatherers average at 287nmol/L.

  • Should clients with a sun allergy be weary of using Pro-Sun D Serum?

We suggest that sun exposure is approached with the same caution as is usually required for each individual’s level of sensitivity,

  • Is this product suitable for use all year round?

This depends on where you are based. Some regions have adequate UV exposure year- round to allow effective daily use. Other regions only have enough UV during the spring or summer months, so this will be a seasonal booster product for those regions. In regions where sun intensity is high (near the equator), keep exposure times short (5- 10 minutes) or use the DMinder App to prevent overexposure. The higher the UVB index, the shorter the activation time.

  • What happens when you are Vitamin D deficient?

Apart from compromised bone density, Vitamin D deficiency causes depression, auto- immune disorders, high blood pressure, and cancer. It has also recently been found to cause insulin resistance. In the skin it can be linked to inflammatory skin disorders like acne and psoriasis, dull, thin skin, and premature ageing.

Who is most likely to suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency?

  • ›  The further an individual is from the equator, the higher their risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

  • ›  The elderly produce up to 50% less Vitamin D than young individuals, which predisposes them to insufficiency.

  • ›  Individuals who spend most of their time indoors are also at higher risk.

    Is continuous sun exposure or are short doses of sun exposure more beneficial?

    Shorter, regular exposure times are more beneficial, as this spikes your Vitamin D production. In terms of continuous sun exposure, we recommend staying below 15 minutes. It is noteworthy to mention that most benefits are gained in the first couple of minutes, with the conversion rate decreasing with prolonged exposure.

  • If I apply Pro-Sun D Serum to another part of my body, will my facial skin benefit?

The skin on your face will benefit most from the Vitamin D it produces itself, we recommend using the Pro-Sun D Serum on the areas you want to supplement with local vitamin D.

  • Would light therapy work with the Pro-Sun D Serum?

Provitamin D needs a certain wavelength of UVB light to activate. This wavelength is absent in most light therapy devices, so while the serum can be used with light therapy, we still suggest activating it with whole, unfiltered sunlight.

  • Do sunbeds or tanning beds contribute to the activation of the Pro-Sun D?

Tanning occurs in the low blue UV range. While some sunbeds may have a spillover in the UVB range, the conversion efficiency is much lower compared to natural sunlight. It’s worth noting that UVB doesn’t create the tan, it is UVA and blue light that are largely responsible.

  • Why is folate so important when considering the production of Vitamin D?

While UVB is needed to make Vitamin D, overexposure to UVB can also result in the degradation of folate – a critical nutrient for DNA synthesis and repair. Sensible sun exposure sessions will avoid folate degradation while still allowing for healthy Vitamin D production.

  • Will the product still work without the 5-minute sun exposure?

The Pro-Sun D Serum will be most effective if activated, but Provitamin D still has skin benefits without the activation time.

It increases the production of heat shock proteins in skin, our cell’s method of protection from future swings in temperature. Heat shock proteins allow normal cell metabolism to carry on, even in difficult circumstances, which is a good measure of how resilient a cell is to insult. Therefore, the Provitamin D in Pro-Sun D improves skin resilience, even when the product isn’t activated.

  • What are the skin benefits of the Pro-Sun D Serum?

All skin types can benefit from this, especially those concerned with ageing, or those experiencing thin, delicate, sensitive skin. Vitamin D helps to regulate cellular proliferation, regulates the skin’s immune responses, improves barrier function, and improves the overall appearance of skin resulting in a healthy, voluminous, glowing skin.

  • What happens if we overdose with Vitamin D?

Overdose is not a concern when supplementing through skin, but taking oral supplements can spike blood levels of Vitamin D and its metabolites. When blood Vitamin D levels spike too high, calcium can be deposited onto the inside of arteries (vascular calcification), acting as a locus for cholesterol deposits. This increases risk for atherosclerosis and cardiac events.

  • Can we combine the use of the Pro-Sun D Serum and Clarifying Oil?

The Clarifying Oil already contains Provitamin D, it is not necessary to combine the two.

  • Why is Pro-Sun D Serum in the Core Range and not the Sensitive Range?

The Pro-Sun D Serum falls into the Core Range as it is beneficial for all skin types. Launching a product into another range may give the impression that it is only useful for certain skin conditions, so placing it in the Core Range made the most sense.

The Pro-Sun D Serum is part of a series of single ingredient serums, so far including Bakuchiol Serum and Pro-Sun D Serum. This whole series will be launched into the Core Range.

  • Is there any correlation between acne and low levels of Vitamin D?

Yes, there is a strong correlation between low Vitamin D levels and acne severity, supported by numerous studies. Vitamin D's role in acne can be attributed to several mechanisms. Firstly, acne is an inflammatory disease, and Vitamin D can reduce inflammation, leading to lower acne levels. Additionally, Vitamin D improves the barrier function of the sebaceous glands, which is crucial in preventing acne. Lastly, it regulates the immune response, it reduces inflammation, improves the barrier function, and minimises hyperkeratosis which is why Provitamin D is a key ingredient in the Clarifying Oil.

  • What is an SPF and does its application still allow Vitamin D synthesis?

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) tells you how much longer you can stay in the sun without getting sunburnt. For example, if you usually burn after 10 minutes, an SPF 20 allows you to stay in the sun 20 times longer, so it will allow you 200 minutes in the sun.

Products containing an SPF block UVB, so they also reduce Vitamin D synthesis in skin. Even an SPF that would be considered extremely low by today’s standards – an SPF of 8 – almost completely suppresses Vitamin D synthesis, blocking somewhere around 92% of UVB. You’d need a very low SPF to allow any meaningful Vitamin D synthesis without a product like Pro-Sun D Serum to boost your production.

  • Does the Pro-Sun D Serum also benefit general health?

In order to claim that we would need to prove its systemic benefits in a medical trial. This is why we place a strong focus on skin health, as opposed to overall health. Though it is very likely that there are some systemic benefits, our focus should be on educating clients about the benefits to skin health.

  • What is the dose of Vitamin D per application?

It is somewhere in the range of 12 000-16 000 IU, depending on how you use the product. Normal levels of activation – for example, half an hour of sun exposure at 10am in the springtime would be somewhere around 62%-64% and so, you would be delivering about 14 000 IU.

However, it’s important to note that we don’t regulate how much is delivered into your bloodstream – your skin does. Leaving control of Vitamin D synthesis and delivery up to your skin means that your body is in full control of dosage, which is safer.

  • What happens if I exceed my MED and am only wearing the Pro-Sun D Serum?

It would be marginally better than wearing nothing due to the heat shock proteins and their ability to prepare the skin for that exposure. However, the Pro-Sun D doesn’t provide an SPF and won’t stop you from burning, should you spend too much time in the sun.

How can we recommend the Pro-Sun D Serum to countries that have a limited sun exposure, and would an oral supplement be recommended?
It would be best to take a supplement of between 600 and 1 000 IU during winter. We suggest downloading the DMinder App and using the serum during periods of the year where Vitamin D synthesis is possible.

  • Will the product activate as effectively on higher phototypes?

Yes, as we are applying onto the surface, above the pigment layer in skin. There is great research for transdermal Vitamin D supplementation. The advantage for clients with high phototypes is that the Provitamin D sits on the very surface and not below the melanin layer, so activation wouldn’t be affected by the darker pigment. This product is particularly useful for those with higher phototypes, as they would normally need longer sun exposures to produce the required amount of Vitamin D.

  • Are there trials, external product testing, or Bonn studies being done for this?

Yes, that is in progress. The patch tests have already been done. We have tested on 50 people with sensitive skin.

  • Is this the first Provitamin D skin product in the world?

No, our Clarifying Oil contains Provitamin D, and other brands have included this ingredient before, although there are not many products containing this active. The design and approach of the Pro-Sun D Serum is unique, and we believe we’ve built an offering that takes advantage of the benefits of Vitamin D in a way that no other brands have done before.

  • If I wear SPF or foundation every day, but apply it in the morning and expose my skin to sun midday, will the Provitamin D still be activated?

Daily application of sunscreen or foundation reduces the amount of Vitamin D produced in the skin. However, the tiny amount of UVB allowed through these products may still allow for some activation of the product. Therefore, the product will still provide increased levels of Vitamin D, particularly if a thin layer of SPF or foundation has been applied.

  • If the DMinder App shows there is UV, but it is a cloudy day, can the Pro-Sun D Serum still be activated through the clouds?

This depends on the type of cloud. If the cloud formation is uniform and relatively thick, there is a low amount of UV available. If the sky is partly cloudy, the UV penetrates through, reflects off the cloud, and hits the ground which means it is possible to end up with higher UV levels than usual. The Dminder App does provide the ability to indicate cloud cover and adjusts the UV index accordingly.

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