When it comes to skin aging, the sun is not your friend.
Over-exposure and long-term chronic exposure to UV light breaks down collagen, promotes abnormal pigmentation. causes skin inflammation, and increases risk of skin cancer.
Sunlight contains UVB rays (5-10% of sun rays) that cause burning and skin darkening. Your sunscreen’s SPF measures protection against UVB rays.
The more concerning rays in skin aging are the UVA rays (90-95% of sun rays). These are deeply penetrating and contribute to the majority of dangerous sun damage. You don’t have to go out sun bathing to have exposure – UVA radiation is always there in the background affecting everyone.
The physiologic effects of UV light on the skin:
Did you know that most of the sun-damage you see in your 40’s & 50’s happened in your teenage years? The effects of UV light shows up later in life and you wonder how you got there! Well, habits you had in your earlier teenage years determines the amount of damage you accumulated over time, and the degree of the effects you see now.
UV light is absorbed by your cell’s DNA, resulting in dangerous mutations.
DNA damage encourages the release of enzymes called Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) which break down collagen.and elastin.
UV light also slows down the ability of the skin to regenerate collagen.
UV light causes the skin’s epidermis to thicken & harden.
UV light stimulates mast cells to produce toxic inflammatory substances. Mast cells are immune cells that promote skin inflammation, allergic reactions & skin sensitivity.
UV light stimulates growth factors that cause an over production of abnormal twisted and permeable skin capillaries.
It’s clear that sun exposure is damaging to your skin. Solar elastosis is a term that describes thick, yellow, inelastic, leathery photo damaged skin. You also find that the sun induces abnormal patches of pigment on the skin.
Did you know that smoking causes skin changes similar to UV light?
Although you may not have extensive sun damage and sun exposure, UV light in the background is still contributing to your wrinkles and aging skin texture.