Approximately 90% of the visible signs of aging are caused by sun exposure. Also known as photoaging, these pesky signs of aging can be prevented with the right tools and knowledge. Together with our Director of Education, Kristin Cristiano, and Product Manager, Anna De La Cruz, we’ve compiled a simple Q&A to help give you the tools you need to make educated suncare decisions.
What are the differences between UVA and UVB rays?
Understanding the different forms of ultraviolet radiation is important when researching the right sunscreen for your skin.
- UVB Rays – These are burning rays and are the primary cause of sunburns and skin cancer.
- UVA Rays – These rays penetrate deeper into the dermis. These rays also contribute to skin burning and skin cancer, in addition to being the main culprits of wrinkles and premature aging.
It’s crucial to find a formula that provides broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection.
Why is unprotected sun exposure so harmful for my skin?
Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure causes chemical changes in our skin. These changes include the activation of free radicals, which cause cell damage, and the activation of enzymes such as Collagenase. Collagenase inhibits the formation of new collagen which can lead to increased wrinkles and the loss of elasticity.
What are the visual effects sun damage can have on my skin?
The list of undesirable effects of sun damage includes:
- Dry, rough and damaged skin
- Hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sagging due to loss of elasticity
- Actinic Keratosis – precancerous, red, scaly patches of skin
This list includes the cosmetic results of photoaging but it’s critical to remember the potentially larger, more serious effect of unprotected sun exposure: skin cancer. Be sure to schedule regular visits with your dermatologist and always investigate suspicious moles and discoloration.