May 16, 2023
Remember the days when you used to lather up in baby oil and sit outside in the summer sun for hours without a single care in the world — or a drop of sunscreen? Yeah, me too… Fortunately, those days are long gone! By now, we’ve learned that unprotected sun exposure is the primary culprit behind numerous types of skin cancers and premature skin aging.
Now, when summer rolls around, it’s a race to the nearest bottle of sunscreen! While I always advise you to apply at least one ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed skin before heading outside, I understand that sunscreen alone might not be the answer to your skin aging concerns. Here’s a look at how sun exposure impacts skin aging and what I recommend to stop it.
Skin aging is determined by several factors, from diet and genetics to — you guessed it — sun exposure. Skin aging caused by sun exposure is referred to as photoaging. Photoaging occurs when ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes DNA changes at the cellular level that damage the skin’s structure. Sun damage often manifests in these four tell-tale signs of photoaging.
One of the most common signs of photoaging is pigmentation changes caused by repeated exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Pigmentation changes can take several forms, such as new freckles or a change in the size of existing freckles. However, sun exposure can also cause more noticeable sun spots, age spots, and liver spots — also referred to as solar lentigines — that can be tan or dark brown.
The basis of pigmentation changes is an increase of melanin, or dark pigment, within the skin. While sunscreen can help ward off the formation of new pigmentation, like sun spots, there are also products to reduce the appearance of existing photoaging. I recommend the CBE Botanicals Brighten the Day Serum and Dr. Esthé Vita-C Radiance Solution to help reduce melanin synthesis.
Solar radiation can impact several parts of the skin, including the epidermal cells and tiny blood vessels called capillaries that rest beneath the surface. Over time, sun damage can cause your blood capillaries to break, resulting in spider veins. Sun-related spider veins are common around the nose and chest, along with redness and blotchiness along the face.
As a time-tested esthetician, I always recommend visiting a professional for spider veins before attempting to begin treatment at home. Professional services, like skin lasers, electrocoagulation, and microneedling, can help to reduce the appearance of broken capillaries under the skin. From here, a retinol serum like the CBE Botanicals Sleep On It Serum can help to brighten and even out the skin tone.
The ultraviolet A (UVA) rays from the sun can penetrate from the surface layer of the skin deep into the dermis. As the rays travel through the dermis, they can impact the collagen and elastin fibers that give the skin its youthful elasticity and tautness. When the sun damages or destroys the collagen and elastin fibers, the skin can begin to lose its firmness and start to sag.
Fortunately, you can fight the loss of skin tone caused by repeated sun exposure with a trusted sunscreen. I recommend using trusted skincare devices to combat the signs of skin aging already caused by collagen and elastin damage. The Clareblend Mini Microcurrent improves both skin tone and coloration for a dual-focused treatment that targets multiple signs of photoaging.
Aside from decreased elasticity, the impact of collagen and elastin damage can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, especially along the eyes and mouth. UV radiation has also been linked to creating elastotic material, which can give the skin a textured or mottled appearance. Combined, the effects of the sun can be very evident in deep-set lines, cross-hatched lines, and sunken facial areas.
Of course, you must continue to shield your skin from harmful UV rays to alleviate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, a few powerhouse products can also help! I swear by the CaviPLLA Multi-Serum, rich in collagen-stimulating Poly L Lactic Acid (PLLA) to help produce new collagen. Pair it with a device to Glow Younger TriLight LED to improve fine lines and wrinkles!
Let’s get one thing straight: everyone is susceptible to photoaging. But with the right preventive measures (like sunscreen!) and the proper skincare regimen, you can combat the signs of sun damage on your skin. If you need more support in your skincare journey, just head to the Christine Byer Beauty Club, where I share personalized skin support and exclusive savings on products!
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