How sun exposure causes wrinkles and what you can do about it!
What’s the best kind of wrinkle? The one you never get! Studies now show that sun exposure causes more than 80% of visible aging on your skin. Visible aging includes dark spots, broken capillaries, diffuse redness, and, you guessed it – WRINKLES. To understand how to prevent these wrinkles best, we must first have a firm grasp on how they form in the first place.
What exactly IS a wrinkle?
Have you ever pinched a baby’s cheeks? Youthful skin is plump and supple because the rate of collagen and elastin production is in hyperdrive and producing fresh, healthy cells at an incredible rate. Why does this matter? Picture collagen and elastin as the box spring to the mattress that is your skin. When the box spring is strong and full, the mattress is smooth and even; when the box spring is broken down and damaged, the mattress has creases and is uneven. Collagen and elastin fibers create a latticework of support and volume to the skin that keeps it full, smooth, and resilient. As we age, the rate of collagen and elastin production slows; screeches to a halt almost. As this scaffolding of support diminishes, along with facial fat and bone, the overlying skin sags and wrinkles form.
Sun-induced wrinkling is different from wrinkles that are caused by repeated muscular contractions of the face – these can be treated with Dysport or Botox. Lines that result from natural aging are inevitable to an extent, but your lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on the rate and degree to which they form.
How does sun exposure cause wrinkles?
Your history and present relationship with the sun plays an integral role in how your skin ages. Sun exposure and smoking are the most common causes of wrinkling and overall damage to the skin. Ultraviolet rays not only cause pigment damage and inflammation to the surface of your skin, but they also penetrate deeply to destroy collagen and elastin and disrupt their rate of production. This damage runs DEEP, all the way down to the DNA of each skin cell.
You may have heard the term “free radical” before. Sun exposure prompts the formation of free radicals, or “thieving molecules.” These nasty molecules are lacking an electron in their outer orbit and strive to steal one from anything they encounter to balance themselves. This process causes advanced oxidation and damage to skin cells, which leads to premature aging and even skin cancer in some cases. The more sun exposure you accumulate throughout the years, the more DNA damage you will have to your skin cells. This cellular damage prevents them from effectively producing fresh and healthy collagen and elastin in the future.
How can I prevent wrinkles caused by the sun?
Luckily, you can take a serious stand against sun-induced aging by tweaking a few of your lifestyle habits.
- Avoid the sun between 10 am – 2 pm when it is at its strongest
- Wear wide-brimmed fashionable hats and sunglasses to protect your face
- Look for stylish UPF clothing and coverups that not only provide protection by covering skin but also have sun protection laced throughout the fabric
- Wear a daily SPF that offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection to protect you from all wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation
- Double up your protection by wearing a daily antioxidant serum under your SPF that not only neutralizes free radical damage but also contains ingredients like Vitamin C to help brighten and strengthen skin over time
- Incorporate the use of a nightly retinol serum or cream in the Fall and Winter months to stimulate your body’s rate of collagen and elastin production
- Consider treatments like SkinPen® Microneedlng collagen induction therapy to rev up your skin’s rate of collagen and elastin production
By taking these steps, you can still enjoy Summer and all of its wonderful activities while staving off the aging effects of the sun!
Haven’t found a sunscreen you love yet? Worried about wrinkles that have already formed? Discuss these concerns with Katie McClellan PA-C at Infinite Youth Medical Spa located in St Louis Park, MN by calling (952) 500-0350.