What causes Sun Damaged Skin?
Quite simply the Sun! And You! How you age is down to three main things.
1. Your genetic make-up
Genes those lovely things your mum and dad gave bestowed upon will mean that you will follow similar ageing paths to your parents.
In a nutshell, our precious natural levels of collagen and elastin, which gives the skin its bounce and freshness at birth, start to reduce. This will result in lines, wrinkles, sagging and generally a loss of firmness all round.
Some are lucky to last until 40 without a sign some not! In this instance if your mum aged well so should you.
As we naturally age our skin thins – we still have the same number of layers but our Epidermis (the outer skin layer) starts to get thinner. So our skin looks more translucent.
Our connective tissue, that keeps it all together, gets weaker and so our skin loses its bounce, strength and of its course elasticity and voila …. Wrinkles! Not helped when you have had too much sun exposure
In addition changes to other cells in the skin happen for instance the number of skin cells that contain pigment decrease but those that remain behind get bigger and so we get Age Spots. These are made worse by sun exposure.
2. Your hormones
When these start to change so might your skin. Although this is also part of ageing and linked to your genetic make-up too. See Hormonal Skin Changes
How you live, what you do to your skin, the environments you hang around and the kind of life you lead. Your stress levels and your dieting habits.
Over 90% of the blame for wrinkles lies with exposure to UV Light.
Lie in the sun all day with inadequate protection you can expect to pay the price in later life. What happens to plums to turn themselves into prunes– yep they sunbathe!
Artificial tanning from a sunbed is also bad news for your skin. Sun beds still give you exposure to UVA and UVB radiation.
UVA penetrates into the lower layers of the skin and induces premature ageing. UVA also suppresses the skin's immune system.
The only time an artificial tanning device should be used is in the medical procedures whilst treating dermatitis or psoriasis and under medical supervision only.
A close second to the Sun for skin ageing is Smoking
Smoking causes your blood vessels to narrow. This is bad news as it’s your blood vessels that ferry oxygen, nutrients and vital immunity boosting Vitamin A to your skin. So with every puff you are starving your skin of what it needs to survive and then you wonder why you have wrinkles appearing. Do your skin a favour and GIVE UP!
Precious Vitamin A is needed to generate new skin cells that replace the old dead ones. It also boosts the production of collagen so a must if you want healthy, young looking skin.
Sorry more bad news here… a skin that is starved of oxygen and nutrients lets free radicals thrive. These are little molecules that only have one electron (a bit technical but bare with us) Electrons are found in pairs but free radicals only have one so they scavenge off other healthy molecules. Not good for the skin. So a process of stealing goes on this can damage cell function, break down collagen and amongst many others things cause wrinkles
Next time you see a smoker or have one yourself think about the lips –the constant sucking in and repeated pursing helps wrinkles build up around the lips and mouth not to mention the heat of a burning tip close to the skin and all the swirling smoke around your face!
And if you don’t smoke yourself – this all still applies to you! Steer clear of smoky environments as passive smoking destroys the skin too!
And just one last word on vices –Alcohol. Your favourite tipple also destroys the body’s supply of vitamins. Sorry!