For sunscreen aficionados, Mexoryl is a gold standard in sun protection, but did you know that are two different Mexoryl molecules – Mexoryl SX and XL? Read on to find out about the benefits of Mexoryl.
What is UV Radiation?
We all need sun protection to help minimize the damage caused by exposing skin the sun’s rays. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, and consists of three main types UVA, UVB and UVC, covering the wavelength range of 100 – 400 namometers.
UVC rays (100-280 nm) break apart when they reach the earth’s protective ozone layer and are generally not a concern. UVB rays (280-315 nm) have a short wavelength, reach the outer layer of skin and are responsible for sunburns. UVA rays (315-400 nm) have a longer, more penetrating wavelength and are responsible for aging of the skin.
Benefits of Mexoryl XL
No doubt, you will have noticed that sunscreens in North America are rated using the SPF rating system which measures the amount of UVB protection that a sunscreen delivers. More information can be found here in a previous blog.
Mexoryl XL provides protection against rays in the 280-340 nm range, essentially covering the entire UVB range (280 – 315 nm) as well as the lower end of the UVA range.
Benefits of Mexoryl SX
As of yet, there isn’t an official, international standard for measuring a sunscreen’s UVA rating. But, these longer rays penetrate deeper into the skin and contribute to wrinkles, allergic reactions and some types of skin cancers. And although the UVA damage isn’t immediately visible as with sunburns, exposure to UVA rays is responsible for genetic damage to cells, premature aging of the skin and, over the long term, some forms of skin cancer. While slightly less intense than UVB rays, UVA rays maintain their strength from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, on cloudy and sunny days. This, however, is where Mexoryl SX shines. It provides protection against UV radiation in the 290-400 nm wavelength range, essentially covering the entire UVA range plus much of the UVB range. That’s a lot of power in one molecule!
Mexoryl SX and XL Working Together
Patented by the cosmetics company, l’Oreal, Mexoryl SX and XL are photostable sun filters which offer broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. To further reinforce their already formidable protection, you’ll frequently find Mexoryl combined with other sun filters such as titanium dioxide (which blocks UVB rays), avobenzone (which absorbs the full UVA spectrum) and newest darling of the sun filter world, Tinosorb S (which covers both UVA and UVB rays as well as functioning as a stabilizer for other sun filters). More can be found on Tinosorb S here.