Photoaging: What Is It and How To Prevent It
by Lauren on Apr 23, 2023
Skin aging is inevitable and occurs naturally over time, but it can also be accelerated due to external, environmental factors.
Aging and how it occurs is due to the composition of the skin’s layers: the epidermis (outermost layer); the dermis (middle layer); and the subcutis (bottom layer). The dermis contains collagen, elastin and other fibers which give the skin structure and a youthful appearance, until damaged by UV rays and causing signs of aging.
Common Signs of Aging:
Skin loses volume and sags due to loss of collagen and elastin
Lessened ability of the skin to produce natural moisturizing factors means moisture cannot be retained as easily
Hyperpigmentation from exposure to UV rays causes sun spots or age spots
Premature aging differs from general skin aging with amplified effects of external factors such as the environment - sun exposure and weather conditions, and lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol and smoking, causing extrinsic aging.
Natural aging, called intrinsic aging occurs naturally and is caused by genetics and hormonal changes at different periods of life.
What is Photoaging?
Photoaging is premature skin aging as a result of overexposure to UV rays from the sun. Two different types of UV rays affect the skin - UVA and UVB.
UVB rays, which are shorter than UVA rays, are absorbed by skin cells and directly damage skin cell DNA. The damage to skin cell DNA causes dermis cells to produce melanin which can lead to tanning and also causes sunburn which can lead to skin cancer and other skin diseases.
As mentioned, UVA rays are longer than UVB rays and are the main cause of photoaging. This is because the length of UVA rays allows them to penetrate deep into the dermis layer and therefore damage collagen fibers. Once collagen fibers are damaged, cells produce a higher amount of ‘abnormal’ elastin which eventually leads to wrinkle formation.
Some products which may be useful for photoaging prevention include:
1. I’m From - Rice Sunscreen
This sunscreen contains Zinc Oxide to act as a physical barrier between the sun’s UVA rays and your skin.
2. Rovectin - Aqua Soothing UV Protector
Formulated with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to protect your skin. It is also suitable for oily/combination skin.
3. Chasin’ Rabbits - G’day Mate Sunscreen
This sunscreen is also formulated with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. It also contains plant-derived ‘fermented Inca Inchi oil’ which improves blending and reduces white-cast.
Vitamin C Serums
1. By Wishtrend - Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum
This serum contains a high concentration of pure vitamin C (21.5%) which is higher than most other products.
2. Klairs - Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
This serum contains 5% pure vitamin C which is great for those with sensitive skin as too high a percentage may cause irritation for sensitive skin.
Vitamin E & Retinal/Bakuchiol Cream
1. Klairs - Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
This product is packed with Vitamin E for brightening skin and improving signs of aging. It is great for use as a sleeping mask or a moisturizer when your skin needs an extra boost.
2. By Wishtrend - Vitamin A-mazing Bakuchiol Night Cream
This night cream contains a combination of retinal and bakuchiol to yield fast results with less irritation due to its more gentle formula.
NOTE: Products which should NOT be used together
Do not pair retinol/bakuchiol with vitamin C products as they will destabilize each other. Instead, use vitamin C during your morning routine and retinal/bakuchiol during your evening routine.
Overall, aging is a natural and beautiful process, however, early signs of aging such as photoaging can be dangerous to health and therefore prevention is key but there are products to aid in the improvement of premature aging, so fear not!