New Showroom in Forlì

Did you go around to our new Showroom BeC Natura? We are in Forlì near to the company! It is our Academy where you will have the opportunity to attend our training courses and aesthetics methodologies. A meeting location among our clients, sellers and BeC consultants.

Come and find us in Forlì in Viale Roma, 274

Tel. +39 0543 – 473348

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Ready for a good and conscious suntan? Let’s know better sunscreens…

solariA wonderful sunny day could really change our mood, it allows us to better face daily routine and enjoy the outdoor benefits. A sunny day brings us back to positive thinking, energy, beauty and health. However, we should not forget all the implications of sun-exposure, in order to benefit from sunlight avoiding the related risks, caused by solar over-exposure. Let’s better understand what sun exposure really implicates, knowing that uneven solar exposure can cause not only tiny sunburns, but also it could increase incidence of certain forms of skin cancer.

Sunlight is composed by different bands characterized by their wavelenght (λ) and energy: a portion of such radiation is represented by ultraviolet (UV) rays

  • UVC rays (λ = 40 ÷ 286 nm) are filtered off by atmosphere ozone and they don’t reach Earth surface in considerable amount.
  • UVB rays (λ = 286 ÷ 320 nm) stimulate melanin formation even though they penetrate only partially through skin, and are the main responsible for suntanning. They act superficially on epidermis and can damage skin cells, determining inflammation and sunburns, due to their high energy.
  • UVA rays (λ = 320 ÷ 400 nm) represent the majority of UV radiation,  they deeply penetrate through skin and cause damage to underlying tissues, they provoke skin ageing  and contribute to pathologic phenomena. They also give rapid suntan using the already-formed melanin.

Cosmetic sunscreens play a major role in skin safety, they represent a strong defence for our skin and contribute to effectively protect it from sunlight. Since September 2006 European Commission has set directives for a perfect solar protection formulation: it must screen efficaciously from both UVA and UVB rays. EU directives compel cosmetic manufactures to display clear labels in terms of efficacy and claims of sun-care products. BeC, as a cosmetic manufacturer, has been working seriously to assure the best performance of sun-care products, with the added value of the  essential oils, the emollient, soothing and antioxidant actives that play a key role for comprehensive sun protection. They sooth erythema, while blocking skin photo-aging, beside cutting off UV rays.

Let’s better know which sunscreen are allowed in EU in cosmetics, according the Regulation (EC)   No   1223/2009   of    the   European   Parliament and of the Council of Europe:

  1. para-aminobenzoic (PABA) acid derivatives screen UVB rays with absorbance maximum peaks between 285 and 310 nm.
  2. Cinnamates (e. ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) are able to protect from UVB rays behaving also as quencher of excited species produced by solar radiation. They absorb radiation at maximum wavelength around 310 nm.
  3. Benzylidencamphor derivatives screen UVB rays and are quencher as well.
  4. Dibenzoylmethane derivatives protect from UVA rays.
  5. Benzophenones absorb both UVA and UVB rays.
  6. Salicilates boast a moderate absorbing efficacy in UVB region, with absorbance maximum at around 305 nm.
  7. Triazines, i.e. Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, are excellent photo-stable sunscreen covering the wide range of UVA and UVB.
  8. Diphenylcyanoacrilates, i.e. Octocrylene represent a good wide range UVA-UVB sunscreen.
  9. Titanium bioxide and Zinc oxide represent physical sunscreen characterized by full UV-range coverage and reflecting action with sunlight scattering properties.

BeC sun-care products are based on a careful combination of the best photo-stable suncreens (physical and chemical) in order to assure complete coverage of the UV spectrum.

The special formulation and the efficacy testing on human volunteers assure a totally safe and perfect suntan. To this aim, the sunscreen of Creme solari (SPF 6, 15 , 30 e 50+) covers the full protection range so to perfectly match your specific photo-type. Special attention is devoted to deliver super-fine and even dispersion of the UV-filter in the formula, so to assure a uniform protection and suntan. Ingredients’ quality, mostly from natural origin (100% natural in case of SPF6) makes these products fully skin-compatible, suitable also for the most delicate skin-types.

As we anticipated, BeC sun care products are not only made of sunscreens! Along with natural components which stimulate melanogenesis (ATP, tyrosine and riboflavine – vit. B2), making suntan more rapid and intense, i.e. aiding skin self-protect, BeC sun care products are rich of hydrating and soothing actives, which nourish our skin and contribute to re-equilibrate physiologic skin moisture and elasticity. Daily use of BeC suncare products avoid damages caused by sun over-exposure but also effectively increase hydration and elasticity!
Natural Vitamin E contained in every BeC sun care product helps prevent wrinkle formation and premature skin ageing along with defending skin from the action of free radicals involved in radiation mediated inflammatory processes. BeC sun care line acts by preventing sun damages: this is especially the case for the oil Huile SolÈ® that is particularly rich in vitamin E. Efficacy tests have shown that daily use reduces already formed wrinkles by 12% in only one week of treatment! This is an outstanding result!!!

BeC sun care products are designed to let us enjoy full benefits from sunlight, while reducing risks and side effects such as allergies, photo-sensitization and skin ageing. In order to protect skin from harmful radiation, our careful sun care formulation stimulates natural skin defence and guarantees a perfect and uniform suntan leaving hydrated, elastic and silky skin. The soothing action on irritation and the prevention of risks associated to free radicals – that causes premature ageing – complete the special properties of our sun care line.

Let’s benefit from a good suntan without turning down an excellent solar protection!

Getting a perfect suntan: things we should do immediately

Even if this May has so far been a little uncertain, the good season is coming and, with it, also the first sunshine and the consequent desire for suntan. Indeed, a beautifully tanned skin is often perceived as healthier and more seductive, therefore it is understandable that both men and women are attracted by it, but we should not forget the good rules to be followed to achieve a beautiful suntan that will also be long-lasting and, more importantly, really healthy.

Scrub

From proper nutrition to body pampering, there are some strategies we should start adopting immediately, if we want to develop a nice tan and glow all the summer long and beyond! Indeed, exposing to sunlight with the proper preparation – which includes the use of a sunscreen – will improve our health and mood, beside contributing to our beauty. The reason is Vitamin D: a real blessing for our immune system.

Savage suntanning, beside being out-fashioned, is actually unhealthy and was shown to be the main cause of early skin ageing. The keyword for a perfect tan is “gradually”. Suntanning is a natural skin protection process (let’s keep it in mind!), therefore exposing too harshly, for too long and without adequate skin preparation can cause minor issues, such as uneven tan, to more serious issues, such as sunburns, erythema and photo-aging.

Oxidative stress is the result of an unbalance of the delicate equilibrium between physiological production of free radicals (also caused by exposure to specific environmental factors like sunlight, radiations, pollution and xenobiotics) and the body antioxidant defenses. Whatever your photo-type is, it is highly recommended that, at least one month before exposing to sunlight, you start building up the reserve of antioxidants by eating antioxidant food. The easiest way to intake these precious elixirs is a diet rich in fruit and vegetables with red, orange or yellow peel or pulp. Enjoy them raw, so to get the best of their properties – eating them with their peel would even be better – in the form of salads, smoothies, gazpachos or fruit salads.

Alternatively or additionally, you can take a specific diet supplement for 30 days at least. Radical Stop® by BeC is a supplement of vitamins, minerals and vegetable extracts and is a precious aid to contrast cell ageing processes induced by free radicals. Dosed in vegetable gelatin capsules, hence ideal also for people on vegetarian or vegan diet, it can be a valuable supplement in our daily nutrition, as it enriches our diet with extremely important elements to maintain cell integrity and fight ageing, to protect our body and help prevent the many pathologies which have been shown to be, directly or indirectly, related to excess free radicals (among them cardio-vascular diseases, liver affections, etc). Particularly useful to fight free radicals are vitamins A, C and E, which trap these highly reactive species, thereby protecting our cellular structures from their aggression. Extremely important are also the vegetable extracts provided by Radical Stop®, such as the extracts of Blood Orange, Olive, Grape, Pine bark, and Blackberry, especially rich in tannins, bio-flavonoids, and other polyphenolic compounds, able to revert the action of free radicals.

maggio_senzascrittaIt should, however, be kept in mind that a proper diet and the intake of diet supplements cannot replace the sunscreen, which needs to be used in all cases to avoid sunburns, erythema and photo-aging.

In order to prepare skin to sunlight, we also need to work from outside. A deep scrub, at least once a week, will remove dead cells from your skin, making it smoother, free to deeply breeze and ready for sunlight.

Geo green by BeC is a body mud-mask based on natural silt with skin-purifying action, ideal to remove the “winter layer”,  since it offers a delicate and physiological peeling that will remove from skin those impurities that have accumulated in wintertime. Its special formula rich in vegetable oils and extracts brings hydration and trophic activity, aiding epidermis renewal and leaving the skin smooth and silky. Furthermore it is an excellent aid to drain liquids and help cellulite’s treatments, thanks to the extract of Ivy, Fucus, Birch and Boswellia, which shape and tone our silhouette, making it firmer and helping us successfully pass the stressing “bath-suit test”.

The final secret is to apply everyday a good moisturizing cream and, after a day of sunbathing at the seaside, a specific aftersun lotion that will help sooth possible reddening. Indeed, suntan will rapidly fade away if it is not taken care of. This happens because of the continuous renewal or outer epidermis layers, with continuous removal of dead cells. However, de-hydration would accelerate the process and favor the peeling of tanned epidermis. By using a moisturizing product since the first sunlight exposure, we can, instead, slow down the peeling process and greatly extend the duration of our even suntan.

SÉ® body cream by BeC, thanks to its emollient and moisturizing principles, helps re-establish the physiological skin balance, particularly for dry, dehydrated or cracked skin. Furthermore, thanks to the extract of Centella that stimulates the biosynthesis of collagen, and tanks to the extract of Echinacea that inhibits the degradation of hyaluronic acid, SÉ® increases skin elasticity and inhibits the free radical processes that would damage collagen and elastin, thereby contrasting stretch marks. Aescin extracted from horse chestnut works synergically with Rutin (from rue) in protecting blood vessels and reducing edema, improving peripheral microcirculation and giving relief to swollen legs. Its smooth texture and the rapid absorption, along with 100% natural fragrance on citrus and almond notes, will make your skin silky smooth and sensual.

A healthy and golden suntan is to be gained before exposing to sunlight. As summertime is coming, start pampering yourselves with specific and effective products, so to fully enjoy sunlight beneficial action and get a glowing suntan that will turn your friends jealous.

Skin damage caused by “wrong” sunscreens: the photosensitization phenomenon

 creme solari becAs we have seen in the previous post, many sunscreens get damaged by sun radiation as they absorb it. The modest photo-stability of such sunscreens has important consequences on the safety and efficacy of sun-care products based on them. In the previous discussion we have seen that photo-instability of sunscreens causes a reduction of sun protection factor (SPF) with time. There are, however, additional interactions of sunscreens with sunlight that have even worse consequences on their safety. We will discuss them in this article.
Solar radiation contains sufficient energy to damage some molecules (M), including some molecules found in our skin, as exemplified in the equation:

M + light→ fragment-A + fragment-B

Fragments indicated as A and B, in the example above, are often free radicals that can attack other molecules, damaging or modifying them. For instance, if such a reaction occurred in our skin, damage could occur to structural proteins like collagen and elastin, contributing to the formation of wrinkles and the onsetting of photo-aging. Furthermore, it could start chain-reactions leading to erythema, other inflammatory states and even genetic mutations (skin cancer). Products containing sunscreens are meant to protect skin from all such damages, and normally they do, by decreasing the amount of UV radiation that hits our skin, i.e. acting as “filters”. But CAUTION !!! Not all the sunscreens are friends of our skin, and actually some might cause bigger damage than that they are expected to prevent. How?
Let’s go back to our previous example. In order for M to react with light, it is necessary that molecule M is at least able to absorb the light at quantum level, i.e. it is necessary the energy carried by light photons hitting M corresponds exactly to the energy gap between quantum levels in the molecule. Often this is not the case and molecule M would be perfectly “safe” if it was not for the presence of other molecules called photosensitizers.

benzofenone

Benzophenone and main benzophenone derivatives used as sunscreen in sun-care cosmetic products as well as in the protection of manufacts. The common base structure is drawn in blue

F + light F*  

then…

F* + M F + fragment-A + fragment-B

This process is well known in photochemistry and benzophenone is among the photosensitizers of broader use in industrial processes to induce photochemical reactions. Benzophenone is also the lead structure for many and, unfortunately, very popular sunscreens, widely used in sun-care cosmetics to give sun protection factor. Most common examples are depicted in the figure above. Sunscreens like benzophenone-3 and benzophenone-4 are structurally related to benzophenone and are potent photosensitizers. In case M is a biomolecule in our skin, such as collagen, elastin, an enzyme or DNA, this can be damages by exposure to sunlight in the presence of photosensitizers (like benzophenone derivatives) much more it would happen in their absence. In other words, certain sunscreens can amplify the damage to our skin caused by sunlight.

Many benzophenone derivatives are available today and 12 of them are of common use.  Those more commonly used in the manufacture of sun-care cosmetics and other goods, are listed in the following:

Benzophenone-1: 2,4-Dihydroxybenzophenone
Benzoophenone-2: 2,2′,4,4′-Tetrahydroxybenzophenone
Benzophenone-3 (or oxybenzone): 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone
Benzophenone-4 (or sulisbenzone): 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxy-benzophenone-5-sulphonic acid
Benzophenone-5 (the sodium salt of sulisbenzone): Benzenesulfonic acid, 5-benzoyl-4-hydroxy-2-methoxy-, monosodium salt
Benzophenone-8 (or dioxybenzone): 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-(2-hydroxyphenyl)methanone
Benzophenone-10 (or mexenone): 2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-4′-methyl-benzophenone
Benzophenone-11: it is a mixture of benzophenone 2 e 6.

For these reasons BeC does not use benzophenone derivatives in sun-care products !!! BeC uses only physical filters in low protection products and, in high protection products, we use a combination of physical filters and new generation chemical filters, which are highly photostable. Here you can find more info on BeC sun-care products.

Therefore, when we chose a sun-care product, it is very important we pay attention to the label and read the composition: don’t look at the SPF value only!

We often hear that we should not expose to sunlight after having used perfumes or other products, as they can give photosensitization problems. The typical recommendation is to use only sunscreen products, but caution should be paid when we choose the sunscreen product, as even sunscreens can cause the same problems. Therefore, even if you have no particular problem of sensitivity to sunlight and think that any product will do the job, think again and don’t overlook the importance of choosing high quality sunscreens, so to make sure that the problems you don’t have will not be caused by the wrong product.

Photo-degradation of sunscreens and skin damaging

soleWe have previously discussed the mechanism of action of sunscreens, underlining that chemical sunscreens absorb the energy of sunlight and subsequently re-emit it in the form of heat, possibly without any alteration in the structure of the sunscreen itself. Possibly… does it always go this way? Unfortunately it doesn’t. For this reason we wish to discuss here a bit more on the photostability of sunscreens. Although this aspect is often overlooked (guess why?), it has major consequences on our health.
After having absorbed sunlight energy, chemical sunscreens are in a higher quantum energy state, from which they can undergo one of three processes:

  1.    they can go back to the lower energy state by loosing energy in the form of heat (which is often not perceived by our senses), thereby making ready to start over again and absorb more solar energy;
  2.     they can release the excess energy by breaking their structure into fragments, i.e. they degrade and form free radicals or use the energy to react with other molecules (photochemical reactions);
  3.     they can transfer the excess energy to another molecule by “hitting it”, i.e. they behave as photo-sensitizers.

Ideally, sunscreens should use only the first route; however, not all the sunscreens are identical and some of them, which are less stable than others, after several absorption-emission cycles, may take the second route (we will discuss in a following post of those sunscreens that take the third route and act as photosensitizers).
If the sunscreen degrades, it most commonly produces free radicals and other dangerous species. If the sunscreen has been absorbed deeply into our skin, those free radicals can attack and damage proteins and DNA, accelerating the photo-aging processes of the skin. In high quality formulations such damages can be prevented by the abundant presence of antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E) in the formula, so to block free radicals before they can cause any damage. Therefore, it is very important to always choose high quality products after careful reading of their label.
There is, however, another point to take into account: as the sunscreen degrades the solar protection factor (SPF) of the product progressively decreases. And antioxidants cannot help in this reguard.

photo-degradation_EN

Variation of the UV-Vis absorption spectra of two examples of sunscreen formulation, after exposure of the formulation to the same “dose” of sunlight (UV irradiation). The upper graph refers to a formulation with NON photostable sunscreens, which evidently shows a reduction of the spectrum after UV exposure, meaning a marked decrease in the SPF. The lower graph, instead, shows the behavior of a (BeC) formulation with photostable sunscreens: only negligible variation of the spectrum is displayed after irradiation implying no loss of SPF and more durable performance.

The fact that a sunscreen formula looses its SPF on exposing to sunlight depends on the phostability of the sunscreens: with highly photostable sunscreens the phenomenon has negligible relevance; however, with little photostable sunscreen molecules, which are unfortunately the most common in commercial formulas, the phenomenon is very relevant, as illustrated in the graphs on the left, displaying the comparison between two real formulations: a famous commercial products (don’t ask which one) and BeC sunscreen SPF15 cream.
Many of us think that “waterproof” sunscreen formulas – which can resist for several minutes of swimming in seawater – would provide a safer protection for the entire day, since the product would not be washed away. A look at the graphs clearly tells that this is not the case: a waterproof sunscreen formula does not guarantee safer daylong protection. First of all, we should consider whether the sunscreen contained in the formula is photostable!!! Secondly, we should consider that, even if the sunscreen is photostable, during a typical day at the seaside, we dry ourselves with a towel; we roll up in the sand, which we clean up by rubbing or washing our skin; we sweat in the heat or during physical activity (e.g. beach sports). All such actions end up removing the sunscreen form our skin anyway. Therefore, a high quality sunscreen formula, based on photostable components, is the ideal choice for a safer protection, but we should not forget that it is wise to re-apply the product several times during the day, particularly in the case of children.

UV filters in sunscreens: things we should know on their nature and functioning

Sunscreens or UV filters are natural or synthetic compounds that are included in cosmetic formulations to protect the skin from damages caused by solar exposure. In the case of specific sunscreen formulas (to be used for sunbathing), they are responsible for the Solar Protection Factor, SPF, whose value indicates the degree of protection the formula will guarantee to our skin, thereby avoiding erythema and other damages like photo-aging. What do UV filters exactly do and how do they act? The principle is very simple: UV filters reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface on which they are applied, for instance skin surface. The difference among the many UV filters lies in the mechanism by which they achieve this goal and they can be grouped in two categories.

Physical and chemical filter - effecto on skin

Mechanism of action of physical and chemical filters on the skin

Physical filters reflect (back) a portion of solar radiation, letting only a limited fraction of light cross them and reach the skin. Therefore, they do not interact with solar radiation and they are not altered by it at all. Chemical filters, instead, absorb a portion of solar radiation, and use it to achieve a higher quantum energy state. Immediately after, such excess energy is released to the environment in the form of heat, thereby making the filter ready to absorb solar energy again. The different mechanisms of action are summarized in the picture on the left. In both cases, the amount of solar energy allowed to pass – which is not reflected nor absorbed – depends on the amount of filters applied on the skin, which determines the solar protection factor.
Both types of filters offer advantages and disadvantages: physical filters have the advantage of being completely stable and not being damaged by solar radiation. Furthermore, compounds like Zinc oxide are totally inert and are very safe for skin. Their disadvantage lies in the difficulty to reach high SPF values without causing the so-called “white effect”. In order to reduce this effect, it is possible to use them in micronized form, which is much more precious (BeC uses this form in all sunscreen formulas). However, even micronized forms do not allow reaching high protection without becoming “visible” on the skin. Therefore, in high protection formulas they are usually combined with chemical filters. Chemicals filters, infact, have the advantage of being very effective and of offering excellent performance while being completely invisible. They disperse very well in the formulation affording a more homogenous protection (corresponding to a more even tan!); however, since they absorb the solar energy, they are subjected to the risk of photo-degradation, or they could undergo photochemical reactions.
At this point, let’s better clarify a very important aspect. Often, the expression “chemical filter” is confused with “synthetic filter”, i.e. artificial, while it is generally believed that physical filters are natural. This is not necessarily true! Physical filters are normally inorganic, i.e. minerals, and normally they are natural, but they can as well be synthetic, i.e. artificially produced.

Oryzanol

gamma-oryzanol: a natural “chemical” filter extracted from rice

On the other hand, the most common chemical filters are often synthetic, i.e. man made; however, there exist also examples of natural chemical filters. Among the most impportant ones, there is certainly gamma-oryzanol, which is extracted from rice bran (see picture on the left), and other examples are cinnamic acid, typical of cinnamon but found also in Brassica vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc) and in shea butter, carotenoids(e.g. from carrots, tomatoes and several red-orange fruits), Vitamin E and many more. These compounds have also the advantage of possessing additional properties (e.g. antioxidant, soothing, calming, anti-age); unfortunately, however, they are nor as effective as synthetic chemical filters. BeC uses natural chemical filters when high SPF values are not requested (e.g. in Huile SolE’), and combines natural and synthetic chemical filters when high protection is aimed at.

The take home message is: don’t be fooled by the words! The adjectives Chemical or Physical, for filters, indicate their mechanism of action not their origin. The origin can either be natural or synthetic, but the most important aspect is their stability toward solar radiation, which is fundamental for our safety under sunlight.

Welcome to the BeC Official blog

Hi everybody,

We would like to give our warmest welcome for reaching the BeC official blog.

BeC Srl is an Italian, family run company committed to research and development of botanical extract and essential oils for more than 30 years. BeC designs and creates functional products for family wellness.

logo_ondaThis official blog would be a useful tool for information for our special line of unique cosmetics and diet supplements in order to provide you with a full quality service, that spans from technical, scientific and medical guidance to information and training tips about BeC products’ utilization.

And much more!

Our staff includes chemists, pharmacists, physicians and wellness consultants. They will be available to give you information and have the chance to write about health, beauty and wellness in more depth. According to everyone’s proper competency, they will promptly reply to your comments in order to satisfy your request.

Moreover, we are glad to accept blog articles, information, detailed studies related to natural cosmetics, health and wellness that you wish to consider for publication.

This blog represents a discussion and meeting point, along with a daily guidance for   improving your own wellness in harmony with Nature.