How Sun Damages Skin And What You Can Do About It
Our relationship with the sun is very much two-faced. That’s two faced not red-faced.
We often like how the sun makes us look in the short term, yet in the long term we dislike the ageing effects it causes. The idea of a “healthy tan” still persists, even if we now know there is no such thing as a healthy tan.
All colouration changes caused by the sun are damaging to the skin. The sun is, in fact, perhaps our greatest enemy in the battle to retain a youthful appearance. A person in their 40s may have the skin of someone ten years younger if they have been rigorous in protecting their skin.
The sun is not your friend
Let’s look at some of the skin concerns caused by over exposure to the sun and what steps can be taken to alleviate the problems. By all means skip ahead to that section if you want!
The Damaging Effects of Over Exposure To The Sun
Skin cancer is of course the most worrying effect of over exposure to the sun – it is one of the most common forms of cancer and in 90% of cases exposure to the sun is a key factor in the cancer’s onset.
Skin cancer is, thankfully, often highly treatable when diagnosed early. There are three main types of skin cancer and the two more common types, the ‘non Melanoma skin cancers’, make up around 95% of all cases.
It goes without saying that if you have any concerns about moles – new, or changed – or lesions or bumps you should get them checked out.
While cancer might be the biggest fear, there are other changes that do not carry the same risk, but will also lead to premature ageing.
Sun damage results in a variety of skin ageing problems. UV rays are responsible for 80% of skin ageing. It contributes to sagging skin, wrinkles, large pores, scarring, dullness, hyperpigmentation and an uneven complexion.
The sun can also cause solar elastosis, which is the destruction of the elastin and collagen tissue in skin. The breakdown of connective tissue leads to many of the primary signs of ageing. The skin appears saggy, lines appear, and it loses its strength and flexibility. This also leads to the skin cutting and bruising more easily and then taking longer to heal.
Often the damage is done when younger but the effects to the skin are only visible years later; ageing is often accelerated through the thirties and forties. Unprotected exposure to UV rays – whether from the sun or tanning beds (tanning beds being even worse, the rays reaching deeper and the harm greater) – will cause damage. So what can be done to help lessen the impact?
How To Improve the Appearance Of Sun Damaged Skin
We believe that the aim of cosmetic treatment (including facial aesthetics) should be to create a natural look, helping to soften and erase some of the damaging effects of the sun.
Microneedling uses small needles to superficially prick the skin and stimulate collagen production for smoother and more toned skin. It can improve hyperpigmentation, scars, fine lines and wrinkles.
Profhilo is an injectable hyaluronic acid (HA) based product for treating skin laxity. With one of the highest concentrations of HA on the market (64mg / 2ml) it not only boosts and hydrates the skin, but it also remodels ageing and sagging skin tissues. It integrates into the skin tissues where it helps to restore levels of hyaluronic acid naturally found in the skin.
As the name implies, dermal fillers can fill in deep facial lines by gently sculpting and smoothing from within. The fillers we use are hyaluronic acid-based, a substance that naturally occurs in your body and aids in the formation of collagen. It is this hyaluronic acid which diminishes as we age, especially if there has been heavy exposure to the sun.
Knowing which treatment is best, or how to combine the two requires real expertise and it is why choosing who to trust with the administration of facial aesthetics is an important decision.
Although anti-wrinkle treatments can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it is also crucial that sun protection is worn all year round to help prevent further lines from forming.
Our in-house facial aesthetic clinician, Kate Yeaton, recommends wearing an SPF of 50.
“An individual using a sunscreen with SPF 15 will take 15 times longer to redden than they would without it. An SPF 15 sunscreen protects against 93% of the sun’s UVB rays, SPF 30 protects against 97% and SPF 50 protects against 98%. Ideally SPF 50 should be worn every day all year round”.
Seek Professional Advice
Over the counter options might now be available, but who wants to trust the appearance of their face to a non-personalised, one size fits all approach?
To get the best results, it is important to book a consultation and discuss your aims for the treatment, this will equip you with enough information to give thought to the pros and cons of different options and make the best decision for you.
Do you have a specific question?
If you would like a free facial aesthetic consultation, get in touch with us today.