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As our age increases, wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation are inevitable skin problems that tend to appear. However, while we might keep blaming age as we keep getting another year older, the main culprit behind most of our skin issues is actually photoaging. Yes, sun exposure effects can be felt on your skin!
It is the damage to the skin caused by exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light. Responsible for 90 percent of visible changes to the skin, photoaging is a direct result of cumulative sun damage you’ve been exposed to throughout your life.
For those caught unaware, our skin is composed of three layers, the epidermis, the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. We can’t see the UV rays but it is something so powerful that slowly and gradually, they can penetrate deep into the skin and damage the important proteins. Once it affects the second layer of the skin, the dermis, it starts affecting the other factors like collagen, elastin and important fibers that help you look young.
The best way to prevent photoaging is to avoid sunlight, but then of course, it is not always possible. But a few skincare precautions that can help you prevent photoaging include:
More than 15 minutes of direct sunlight is not recommended for the skin. Even if you have to be in an open space, wear sunglasses, make sure your arms and legs are covered, take a shed and avoid sunlight at the peak hours of 11 am at 2 pm when the sun is shining its brightest.
Sunscreen is something that should always be applied whether you step outdoors or not. While indoors, you can opt for SPF 30 while SPF 50 is highly recommended for Indian skin type as it helps block 98 percent of UVB radiation. Also, you can consider SPF 50 PA+++ that provides protection from UVA rays as well.
Photoaging results in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and loss of facial volume as it degrades the collagen fiber in the skin. Including retinoids will boost new cell production, slowing the collagen wear and tear every day. You can start retinoids once you age 30 and onwards but consult a dermatologist before adding them to your skincare routine.
There are scientifically proven methods and treatments to prevent and sometimes, reverse the sun damage if we act early. An intense pulsed light therapy and laser therapy can help heal the skin from damage and rejuvenate the skin at a cellular level.
If you suspect your skin is showing signs of premature aging and is a result of photoaging, please consult an expert as this is a serious skin concern. Talk to your dermatologist. Let them assist your skin and create a treatment plan that best meets your skin requirements and goals.