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Photoaging: Why Does Sun Exposure Cause Wrinkles and How Can You Prevent It?

by Cindy Sim |

Summer is just around the corner, which means you are probably planning vacations, beach trips, and backyard pool parties. But before you have your fun in the scorching summer sun, it important to understand the permanent skin damage that frequent sun-exposure can cause, like photoaging, and how to prevent it!

What is Photoaging?

Photoaging is the premature wrinkling of the skin as well as the growth of sunspots and loss of skin elasticity - all caused by frequent sun exposure. Your skin sags and wrinkles when the dermis (outer layer of skin) that contains collagen and elastins (essential proteins for skin firmness) undergoes decomposition. The UVA rays from the sun has a long wave length that penetrates the dermis and cause abnormal production of collagen and elastins. This abnormality creates an enzyme that attempts to rebuild the damaged collagen and elastins, but often malfunctions in its attempt and ends up initiating the decomposition reaction. The repeated process of the enzymes damaging collagen is how UVA rays cause saggy wrinkly skin.

How Can I Prevent Photoaging?

There are many simple yet effective ways to keep your skin firm and wrinkle-free while still enjoying the summer sun as much as you can. Here are some tips:

  • WEAR SPF/SUNSCREEN: Perhaps the most obvious and common skin-protectant of them all - we recommend sunscreen with SPF 20. Apply generously all over your exposed skin, especially the face, before going out into the sun. (Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we reveal how to choose the best sunscreen!)
  • COOL DOWN WITH HYDRATING FACE MASKS: After a long day out in the sun, hydrating face masks can restore much of the water your face lost. When the skin is hydrated it is more vulnerable to wrinkles. The Go-Getter Goddess mask (our featured summer mask!) contains rose extractions that help reduce collagen decomposition and calcium ions that reduce redness from sunburns.
  • DRINK MORE WATER AND LESS COFFEE/ALCOHOL: Your diet influences your skin's ability to protect itself. Coffee and alcohol naturally dehydrate you so it is best to consume them moderately.

Hydrated skin is the strongest shield against sun damage and photoaging!

All content approved by medical advisor, Dr. Augus Chang.

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