Sunny with a Chance of Photoaging

Picture this: It's a sunny day, no clouds, and 80 degrees with low humidity and it's your day off!! Yippee!!  Who doesn't love a day like this?  

Lately, these days have been few and far between, so I say bring them on!! But how can something so beautiful be so bad for your skin?

It’s called photoaging which is damage to the skin caused by exposure to the sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light.  Photoaging is a direct result of many years of sun damage to our skin and is responsible for over 90% of the visible changes we see on our skin.

We like to think the inevitable skin concerns that appear with aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and hyperpigmentation (think age spots, freckles, and uneven skin tone) are the direct result of chronological aging but most of this is caused by photoaging. SPOILER ALERT: This is something that we can control and minimize.

Our skin is composed of three layers:  the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis, (the middle layer), and the subcutis (the bottom layer).  Our dermis contains many of the magical elements such as collagen, elastin, and other supportive structures that give skin it’s smooth supple youthful appearance. It also contains melanocytes.

When our skin is exposed to the sun, both UVA and UVB rays hit the skin causing a cascade of changes. The UV rays “hit” the skin and damage the skin's DNA, the cells in the dermal layer of our skin produce melanin in the epidermis to block the radiation from penetrating our skin further. Hence that “Healthy Glow”  is NOT a glow at all, it's injured skin trying to protect itself from further radiation damage!! There is no such thing as a “healthy” tan my friends. 

The UV radiation - the UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun - affect our skin differently.

The UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and are the main character in producing a sunburn.  Chronic exposure over the years to UVB rays can damage our cellular DNA crate hyperpigmentation, and, can cause skin cancer.

The UVA rays with a longer wavelength penetrate further into the dermis of the skin and are responsible for the damage known as photoaging.  The UVA rays damage the collagen fibers which causes increased production of abnormal elastin.  This increased production in free radicals degrade collagen and increases the production of abnormal elastin.  As a result, this process rebuilds skin incorrectly causing wrinkle formation, depleted collagen, and leathery.

The take away here is not to scare you but to make you re-think your relationship with the sun.  We encourage you to enjoy your time in the sun using precautions:

  1. Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen while in the sun
  2. Use a wide-brimmed hat while in the sun
  3. Consider avoiding the peak hours for sun rays which are 10 am to 2 pm
  4. Schedule yearly skin exams with a dermatologist to check for skin cancer

Fortunately, there are several topical products for the skin that can help undo the damage caused by photoaging.

Vitamin C in a 15% to 20% concentration with added E such as The Best of Everything has been clinically shown to help reduce the effects of photoaging and also to provide protection against further damage.

Another topical that can reduce the signs of photoaging is retinol.  According to the NIH “Retinoids are capable not only of repairing photoaged skin at both the clinical and biochemical levels but their use may prevent photoaging. There is also emerging evidence that topical retinoids could be beneficial in the treatment of intrinsically aged skin.” Skin Health Plus provides the benefits of retinol with Accelerated Delivery Retinol Cream.   

Lastly, photoaging causes hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.  Studies show that the topical application of alpha-linolenic acid, a naturally occurring acid our body makes, can disrupt the cells that produce the darkening of the skin. Our Pro-Bright Pigment Correction Serum will help diminish the dark spots with regular use. 

Although it is best to prevent photoaging by taking the proper precautions while in the sun if you have spent time in the sun without proper precautions, you most likely have a bit of photodamage to your skin that can benefit from topical products designed by Skin Health Plus.

Don’t let your forecast be sunny with a chance of photoaging.