Photoaging is premature skin aging caused by the sun

Sun-induced ageing

UV radiation is one of the most influential factors in the premature ageing of skin (photoageing or sun-induced ageing). UVA rays are responsible for primary tanning as well as sun-induced wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing while UVB rays cause sunburn; both can lead to skin cancer. UVA rays can penetrate clouds and glass and are present all year round so daily sun protection is recommended.


Effects of sun damage on facial skin

Symptoms include direct and indirect DNA damage, creation of free radicals as a result of UV exposure and collagen degradation resulting in wrinkles and prematurely ageing skin. As the face, hands and décolleté are exposed to UV radiation more than the rest of the body, these areas – particularly the face – need specific and consistent protection, all year round, to reduce visible signs of ageing.

As skin ages, naturally or prematurely, it changes. Typically:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Uneven skin tone (Dyspigmentation)
  • Age Spots (Solar lentigines)
Excessive sun exposure can also lead to solar elastosis – skin that appears yellow and thickened. 

Side-by-side comparison of effects of premature ageing.
Excessive exposure to UV rays causes premature ageing.
Effects of sun damage on facial skin
UVA rays penetrate deeply into the lower skin layers and can cause short- and long-term damage.

If you have any concern about any sun damage symptoms we recommend you consult your GP or dermatologist.


Two types of ageing

There are two types of ageing: intrinsic ageing (also known as chronological ageing) and extrinsic ageing.

Intrinsic ageing is inevitable and uncontrollable. Influencing factors include ethnicity, hormonal changes and anatomic variations.

Extrinsic ageing, on the other hand, is controllable. Influencing factors include ambient conditions, drugs, smoking and UV exposure. 

To minimise the effects of extrinsic ageing, use sun protection daily, all year round, avoid excessive sun exposure and chose a healthy life style. 
Close-up of ageing skin
Ageing skin loses its elasticity.

UV exposure

Up to 90% of all symptoms of skin ageing are caused by UV exposure*.

UVA rays penetrate deep into the subcutaneous tissue and are responsible for longer-term sun damage such as skin ageing, polymorphic light eruption and skin cancer. UVB rays penetrate skin’s upper layers causing sun burn and cellular DNA damage.

Read more about ageing skin in general 
Read more about sun and the skin

Sun protection that prevents sun-induced ageing
Sun protection is recommended- UVA and UVB rays can damage skin.

Even though UVA rays are less intense than UVB, they are 30 to 50 times more prevalent and are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year. Given that they can even penetrate clouds and glass, it is important to apply sun protection on a daily basis to prevent long-term damage.

* Source: Ramos-e-Silva et al., ‘Anti-aging cosmetics: Facts and controversies’. Clin Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 750-8.

Read more about ageing skin in general 
Read more about sun and the skin

Before sun-induced skin damage is visible it can be revealed by a UV camera.

Sun-induced skin damage revealed by UV camera
Sun-induced skin damage revealed by UV camera
Normal UV Camera

Year-round protection

The importance of using sun protection has been widely reported. Awareness of the dangers of unprotected and excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays is high and sun creams are essential items on most holiday packing lists. This occasional use certainly helps to protect against sunburn and long-term UV-induced damage but for parts of the body that are constantly exposed to UV rays, such as the face, hands and décolleté, there is a need for more regular use to prevent premature skin ageing.

It's only when the first signs of ageing become visible that we really understand and acknowledge the link between sun exposure and photoageing.

This could be when wrinkles and fine lines appear.

However, to prevent premature ageing, sun protection must be used on a daily basis, all year round.

Read more about ageing skin in general

Read more about wrinkles 

Daily anti-age sun protection
Year-round sun protection is highly recommended

Avoiding sun-induced ageing

Eucerin Sun Fluid Anti-Age (SPF 30/50) offers superior sun protection and is tailor made for facial skin. 

It has three main benefits: broadband, photostable UV filter system (UVA and UVB protection), Biological Cell Protection and effective ingredients for combating existing signs of ageing. 

It contains the effective anti-oxidants Licorice Extraxct and Glycyrrhetinic Acid to support cellular protection. Two form of Hyaluronic Acid (low and high molecular) visibly reduce wrinkles on the face and décolleté.

The formula has a light and pleasant texture, that does not leave a greasy skin feeling. It is an ideal make-up base, and is proven to be highly tolerable even for sensitive skin – making it an ideal sun protection accompaniment to a daily skin routine.

Read more about Eucerin Sun Fluid Anti-Age

Prevention of premature skin ageing
Premature skin ageing can be prevented.

Before sun-induced skin damage is visible it can be revealed by a UV camera.

Sun-induced skin damage
Normal UV Camera