That ‘healthy’ tan you can’t wait to get on your next holiday? Yeah, we’d think again about that. Tanning in any aspect of the word isn’t good for you. It’s actually one of the major causes of skin ageing.
How Does the Sun Lead to Skin Ageing?
Photo-ageing is the technical term for ageing skin caused by sun damage and there are a number of signs to indicate your skin has been damaged. Many assume that the only sign of sun damaged skin is getting sunburnt. In actual fact, sun exposure damages cellular function in the skin and weakens your skin’s immunity. This causes your cells to act abnormally and prevents your skin’s ability to repair the damaged DNA. As a result of this disruption and destruction of the cellular process, your skin begins to struggle to maintain it’s youthful appearance and symptoms of sun damage appear.
Skin Ageing Signs
Often we consider certain signs of skin ageing as inevitable parts of life but in fact, they can be avoided with the right preventative measures.
Some of the most common signs of skin ageing are:
- Loose, sagging, crepey skin texture
- Lines and wrinkles
- A leathery skin texture
- Dryness and flaking skin
- Brown spots (also known as liver spots or age spots). Learn more about getting rid of brown spots here.
- Easily bruising
- Actinic keratosis
- Dilated capillaries (visible red blood vessels) around the cheeks, nose and ears.
- Thinning of the skin
Continually exposing your skin to the sun and its harmful UV rays will eventually result in the collagen in your skin becoming damaged. The harmful sun rays break down existing collagen in the skin as well as impairing the production of new collagen. Consequently, wrinkles and sagging skin will occur much sooner than you expected due to a lack of collagen synthesis.
Pigmentation in the skin is caused by the overproduction of melanin. UVA and UVB radiation trigger your skin’s natural response to protect the skin with melanin production. However, excessive sun exposure can lead to your skin cells producing melanin uncontrollably and unevenly which is what results in those brown spots or splotches on the skin.
So What Can You Do?
It’s actually very simple.
- Keep out of the sun as much as you can.
- Wear protective clothing, i.e. long sleeves, hats, sunglasses.
- Use an umbrella if necessary.
- Always wear sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy. 80% of UV rays can penetrate through clouds.