Have you noticed how some people appear much older than their true age? Photoaging may be the cause. They have prominent wrinkles and blemishes that make them appear older than they really are. Although the opposite can also be seen, people who seem to age without showing it.
Do you know what is responsible for this difference in aging? Believe it or not, in the majority of cases…. it is the Sun! This is why today we are going to see what is photoaging and why do we have to care about it.
What is solar radiation?
To understand photoaging, we have to know what solar radiation is and its impact on our skin.
The Sun continually emits electromagnetic rays that reach our planet. Not all of them have the same intensity and, fortunately for us, the atmosphere filters out the most harmful, which is what makes life on Earth possible. But some of them do reach the surface of the planet and form what we call “the solar spectrum”.
In the solar spectrum there are different radiations according to their electromagnetic frequencies. Among these we find Ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) and ultraviolet B radiation (UVB), which are the ones that most affect our skin, particularly in people of lighter phototypes.
Every day we are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, on both sunny and cloudy days , so every day our skin has to repair the solar damage caused to it.
Did you know that the clouds only filter out 10% of solar radiation?
What is photoaging?
Photoaging is the premature skin aging caused by repeated exposure to the sun. In order to better understand what photoaging is, we also need to know how radiation affect us:
- When solar radiation reaches our skin without any sun protection, free radicals are generated that attack the collagen.
- In order to avoid this affecting us, the melanocytes in our skin produce melanin to cover the epidermis and so protect the lower layers from the radiation.
- You have to take into account that the UVB rays are shorter and can only penetrate the top layer, while the UVA rays are capable of reaching the deeper layers, so when we stay out in the sun too long, the melanocytes are not able to produce as much melanin and the collagen fibres in the dermis are damaged.
- This aggression results in the creation of more elastin, which causes greater production of enzymes called metalloproteinases.
- When these metalloproteinases try to repair the damaged collagen, the skin does not repair well and, over time, this causes wrinkles and a reduction in the levels of collagen in the skin.
This damage is what is known as “oxidative stress” and is the direct cause of photoaging.
How can we combat photoaging?
Our skin has a memory and records the damage that it accumulates year on year, both from the sun and from other environmental factors. In the short term it may appear that sunbathing without any sun protection has no effect except that we sometimes get sunburn; but among the future damage we find wrinkles, blemishes, sagging or more serious conditions such as actinic keratosis or even melanoma.
To prevent all these problems it is important to have good sun protection habits. We must protect our skin every day, whether it is summer or not, as UVA radiation remains the same throughout the year and, and when it penetrates the dermis, it destroys collagen and elastin day after day. Taking into account that both UVB and UVA solar radiation affect the DNA and the cells, it is vital use a broad-spectrum sun screen with a high SPF (at least SPF30) to be well protected, like Eryfotona Actinica SPF50+. And if our sunscreen also includes anti-aging and anti-pollution agents such as those in the Prêt-à-porter range we will be protecting our skin against environmental aggressions even better.
“We must protect our skin every day, whether it is summer or not, as UVA radiation remains the same throughout the year and, and when it penetrates the dermis, it destroys collagen and elastin day after day.”
We have different options available to us to repair the photo-damage depending on its type.
If what we want to do is repair accumulated solar damage, products containing vitamin C are highly recommended. This antioxidant vitamin helps to repair the skin and brings luminosity back to sun-damaged skins while also hydrating and improving the tone of sin blemishes. Try an antioxidant serum like Flavo-C Ultraglican (for daily care) or Melatonik (to repair the skin at night) and you will see how your skin recovers its vitality with its flash-effect ampoules.
It is now up to you! Protect and care for your skin to keep looking younger for longer.
Were you aware of the harmful effects of the sun and photoaging? Do you protect yourself from radiation every day to keep your skin healthy? Please tell us in the comments section!