Many people ask us about the relationship between sun exposure and wrinkles, so here is some of the science.
It is a fact that exposure to ultraviolet light, whether UVA or UVB, that is derived from sunlight, accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging.
Since most of the photo-aging effects occur by the age of 20, the amount of damage to the skin caused by the sun is determined by the total lifetime amount of radiation exposure and the pigment protection.
The sun effects the epidermal layer of the skin by thinning the epidermis and causing the growth of skin lesions, such as those known scientifically as actinic keratoses, squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell carcinomas.
On the dermal layer of the skin, prolonged exposure to the sun causes collagen to break down at a higher rate than with normal chronological aging.
The collagen fibers that get damaged also cause the accumulation of abnormal elastin. This sun-induced elastin accumulates, and causes enzymes called metalloproteinases to be produced in large quantities.
Under normal conditions, metalloproteinases are responsible for fixing sun-injured skin by manufacturing and reforming collagen.
However, this process does not always work well and some of the metalloproteinases actually break down collagen, resulting to the formation of disorganized collagen fibers known as solar scars.
And when the skin repeats this flawed rebuilding process, wrinkles develop.
Because of the suns ability to cause wrinkles and other skin issues, it is vital to use a good sunscreen, to use it regularly when in the sun, and to us it correctly.
We recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or higher. UVA-protecting ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and avobenzone are good. And it should protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
As the age old saying still holds true, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Note: Many moisturizers and wrinkle creams contain SPF. However, there is research showing it may actually NOT be good for a wrinkle cream to contain SPF inside, because ingredients like SPF and certain anti-oxidants can cancel each other out by being in the same cream together. Some companies are now getting on the bandwagon and responding to this research by not including SPF in wrinkle creams.
So, you may be much better off getting a separate SPF, a product that is completely designed and targeted for the sole purpose of protecting you from the sun.