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Effects of the sun on visible signs of aging

With time, our skin may show aging signs such as wrinkles, lack of firmness, vascular disorders and pigmentation heterogeneities.

In addition, external factors like high levels of pollution, tobacco, stress, or sun exposure can alter skin appearance and structure – these external factors are called the exposome…

Exposome and photoaging

By far, the most impacting external factor is the sun and, in this study, F. Flament et al. clinically quantify the effect of sun exposure on facial aging, known as photoaging.

 

Clinically proven with 298 women

This study involved 298 women in Montpellier, France (with a high sun exposure level), that were divided in two groups according to their habits regarding sun exposure:

  • 157  women that looked for sun exposure (sun-seeking women)
  • 141 women that avoided sun exposure (sun-phobic)

These women presented different kinds of skin type: dry, oily or combination) and were also well-balanced across different phototypes.

80% of visible aging in woman’s face is due to the sun

The researchers found that the sun is greatly responsible for visible skin aging in woman’s face (including wrinkles and pigmentary disorders), and thus can be prevented with preventative and repairing actions: 

  • Wrinkles.

Wrinkles in general and specially around lips are signs that make a person look older earlier. Wrinkles and skin texture are influenced by both intrinsic aging and photoaging, depending on the behaviour on the individual with regard to the sun. 

Through this study, Flament et al., could see that sun-seekers had more wrinkles than the sun-phobic ones, especially after the age of 50.

  • Pigmentary disorders.

These disorders may appear as a loss of pigmentation (for instance around the eye area) or with hyper pigmentations that result in dark spots on our skin. According to this study, these signs are the most connected to photoaging, meaning that the sun-seekers had more pigmentation disorders regardless of their age.

These results show that photoaging does have an impact on our appearance and that the effect of UV exposure increases with age, meaning that the older we are, the more the sun affects our skin.

The most important conclusion was the following: sun exposure results in premature aging of our face.

Effects of the sun on photoaging

The sun makes you look older, especially when you are younger

Many times, we see that there is a difference between the apparent age of a person and their real age. There are lots of clues that allow us to estimate someone’s age, but facial features are the most essential. The researchers also wanted to understand how photoaging affects our apparent age, in the eyes of other people.

The shocking conclusion of the study is that photoaged women look older that women who protect themselves from the sun, especially at a younger age. 

It is never too soon to start taking care of you skin! Start taking the right steps now to Protect from UV rays, Repair existing damage and Correct the visible signs of aging.

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