March 5, 2012


Three Ways the Sun Leads to Older-Looking Skin

By now you’ve heard that nothing leads to visibly aging skin more than exposure to UV rays and the sun damage that results. What you may not know, however, are the specific ways the sun can cause your skin to look older and the best anti aging skin treatments to combat the signs of aging skin. Here are three ways the sun impacts your skin, plus advice on anti aging skin care products that can help combat the effects of a lifetime of UV exposure on your face.

Sun and AgingSun Damage Leads to a Breakdown of Collagen and Elastin
Though your skin may look healthy with a tan, in reality UV radiation is causing a breakdown of skin-firming collagen below the surface at a higher rate than normal. In the dermis, the layer of skin beneath the surface, sunlight damages collagen fibers (which give skin its firmness) and creates abnormal elastin fibers (which normally cause skin to stretch out and look smooth). As the abnormal elastin increases, large quantities of enzymes called metalloproteinases are created. Although metalloproteinases typically heal skin by manufacturing collagen, the large quantities produced by sun-damaged skin can lead to proteins that actively break down collagen instead. This results in damaged collagen fibers, known as solar scars. The end result? Wrinkles. While there are many anti wrinkle creams and products that can improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on your face, proactively using sun protection throughout your life will result in healthier and more youthful-looking skin for years to come.

Sun Damage Leads to Age Spots and Sun Spots
Over time, exposure to UV rays and sun damage can also lead to sun spots and age spots on your face, chest, arms, hands and any other area heavily exposed to UV rays. Age spots, also known as sun spots, are areas of hyperpigmentation that appear as brown, dark brown or black patches on the skin. An age spot or sun spot should not be confused with a mole. A mole will cause a change in skin texture, whereas an age spot or sun spot is simply an area of darkened pigmentation. Still, age spots and sun spots can mar an otherwise flawless complexion. Fortunately, there are products to help fade age spots and restore an even skin tone. Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum uses Hydroquinone, the strongest skin-lightening agent you can purchase without a prescription, to fade away age spots and sun spots.

Sun Damage Leads to an Increase in Free Radicals
Free radicals are cells in your body that have only one electron instead of two, and are created from sun damage and UV radiation exposure. Because the cells lack an electron, they are constantly attacking other cells in your body in an attempt to “steal” an electron back. Most frequently this occurs with collagen and elastin cells, resulting in older-looking skin. While sun protection and preventing exposure to UV rays plays a critical role in reducing the number of free radicals in your body, increasing the number of antioxidants in your skin care regimen can also help counteract free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals in your system naturally. A diet rich in antioxidant-filled foods such as fruits and dark green vegetables is the first step. In addition, an antioxidant skin care regimen will provide a topical boost of antioxidants to assist in giving you healthier, younger-looking skin.

Throughout your life, you should always prevent sun damage by using sun block and sunscreen products. Using skin care products to combat the inevitable signs of UV radiation on your skin can give you healthier and younger-looking skin.


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