Sun damage is the main cause of aged looking skin understanding its effects on our skin can play a key part in choosing the correct ingredients for repair and rejuvenation. Damage from the UV rays of the sun is the number one cause of visible aging. It causes wrinkles, rough skin, hyperpigmentation, and overall dehydration and degradation of the skin. The good news is that skin science now understands much more about the damage that the sun causes in the skin and how to repair it with specific treatments which you can include into your own skin care regimen.
The Effects of Sun Damage
One of the main effects of sun damage is the deterioration of collagen and elastin within the skin which is also one of the main causes of aged looking skin. As we age it is estimated that our natural collagen levels decrease by 1% a year after the age of 40. Collagen and elastin firm the skin and help it maintain its elasticity. The rays of the sun can also penetrate deeply into the skin and cause deep wrinkling by breaking down cross connecting collagen. UV exposure also has been shown to increase the production of MMP’s which further break down the collagen in the skin.
The rays of the sun also cause an over production of melanin which often reveals itself in the form of freckle like patches of pigmentation on the upper face and forehead. It may also darken freckles and cause other pigmentation problems.
Nearly all cases of sun damage involve dehydration, the sun breaks down the skins ability to retain moisture causing dryness on the surface of the skin. This also causes more skin cells to build up on the surface of the sky leading to flaky dry skin. This can also be increased by improper skin care practices and the regular use of drying ingredients such as alcohol.
Solutions To Sun Damaged Skin
TCA Peels and alpha hydroxy acids have been clinically shown to increase the production of collagen and elastin and also help exfoliate the damaged skin cells to reveal the fresher undamaged cells beaneath. A TCA Peel of 25%-35% can significantly lessen sun damage on the face, smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, increase the production of collagen and elastin within the skin, exfoliate dull damaged cells, even out pigmentation and remove freckles. If you’re looking to reverse the effects of sun damage these are the treatments that you’ll likely find the most helpful. Regular use of Retin A can also increase the production of collagen and elastin increase exfoliation and achieve many of the same benefits of peeling but over a longer period of time.
Prevention Makes Perfect
Avoiding sun damage in the first place is one of the best practices of all and should be considered the number one way to stay looking younger for as long as possible. We recommend wearing a high SPF mineral based sunscreen whenever your skin is exposed to sunlight.