Sun Damage and Aging
Sun damage is something that those of us keen on protecting our skin try to avoid. WE have various techniques for doing this. Sunscreen is common, but we can also find clothing to further reduce exposure. Some of us even decide that just avoiding the sun as much as possible is the best option and simply opt to entertain ourselves and others inside. We put all this effort into things because of how much of a threat sun damage represents to our skin. Everyone knows about sunburn, but only people who take an interest in their skin know that sun damage is far more than that. Sun damage represents the accumulated possible damage to your skin that has a direct impact on how fast you appear to age.
Sun Damage and Collagen
We’ve covered the importance of collagen before. It is one of the primary structural proteins in your skin. Most our early life, it replenishes itself regularly without needing any special attention. This changes as we age though. Our skin loses its ability to replace the collagen effectively. Sun damage makes this even more problematic. It can actually damage the collagen and make it harder for our skin to properly repair the skin. This leads to a loss of firmness in the skin and makes it easier for wrinkles to form in places where the skin folds frequently. Free radicals introduced to the skin via sun exposure are the biggest culprits for causing this damage. Once introduced, the free radicals move throughout the skin and body continually causing problems. This is why it is important to neutralize them where possible. This is also important to consider when it comes to less visible signs of aging.
Eat Your Antioxidants Too
Antioxidant-rich products can help treat free radicals in your skin, but you need to ensure your diet includes foods rich in antioxidants as well. Free radicals aren’t trapped in your skin. In fact, they move throughout your body freely and are regarded as the primary reason for aging in some proposed models. In these models, the free radical damage throughout the body changes how cells interact and slowly degrades the ability of our bodies to repair themselves. A decreasing ability to repair itself is why our bodies start to wear out. You should note there are several models of aging in the medical community and this is just one. In all likelihood, the complexity of aging likely means that most of the models have at least one aspect correct. This makes managing your sun exposure and therefore free radical exposure to make it minimal.
Sun exposure causes other signs of aging beyond wrinkles. Sun spots are more common as we age and as a result they sometimes get called “age spots”. These are areas where our skin begins to overproduce pigment. There are many potential reasons for this ranging from skin damage to heritage. Your best bet is to wear sunscreen regularly to help minimize the chances of these spots appearing. They can be treated once they’ve appeared through a combination of products, but it is generally best to try to stop them from forming in the first place. These may not be the most pronounced signs of aging from sun damage, but they can readily add up if you’re not careful at managing your exposure.
Sun damage appears to have a direct connection to both visible and invisible signs of aging. That makes protecting yourself important if you wish to maintain a timeless beauty. It doesn’t take much to provide yourself with this protection though. Remember to wear your sunscreen, invest in protective clothing, and try to avoid spending an excess amount of time outside. These steps combined with appropriate skin care should allow you to age gracefully with minimal early signs of aging.