It seems as if there a new trending product getting added to skincare routines very often. However, the one product that has remained constant and at the top is sunscreen. Sunscreen is one product that has no replacement and also cannot be skipped for a single day. It protects our skin from the sun and its harmful UV rays that lead to many problems. Sunscreen is also important to prevent ageing of the skin. Solar exposure does cause premature ageing of the skin. If you are someone who is worried about wrinkles, fine lines and uneven pigmentation on your skin, the best option is to limit sun exposure and stick to sunscreen. Read on to know why sunscreen is essential for anti-ageing.
What causes Photo Ageing?
Photo aging is hypothesized to be caused by a variety of distinct factors. The majority of studies have connected it to the expression of a class of proteins known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These proteins act as enzymes to degrade collagen and elastin in the deeper layer of the skin (called the dermis). The structure, tenacity, and stretch ability of the skin are all due to elastins and collagens. The generations of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage in skin cells have both been connected to the expression of these MMP proteins. Reactive oxygen species are extremely reactive molecules created from oxygen. They can harm DNA and proteins as well as other biological constituents.
Both these situations are caused by extra sun exposure. If this exposure continues for a long period of time, it leads to ageing. A few research articles have shown signs that people who avoid the sun have fewer signs of ageing. This is compared to people who are out in the sun a lot. However, it is not possible to avoid the sun. You might need to step out for some work, or your job could be related to it etc. This is where a sunscreen comes in.
How to protect our skin from photo ageing?
Sunscreens contain ingredients such as zinc oxide which absorb or reflect UV rays and keep our skin cells safe. Research has shown that sunscreens can stop signs of ageing by acting against the triggers, with evidence showing they can prevent the expression of MMPs. In a study conducted in Australia, photo ageing levels in groups assigned to daily sunscreen usage and those assigned to discretionary sunscreen use were compared. In comparison to the discretionary sunscreen group, there was no discernible increase in skin aging in the daily sunscreen use group over the four and a half year study period. According to results of a different study, using sunscreen every day for a year may, when observed by a dermatologist, reverse obvious indications of ageing. These are some of the reason why sunscreen is essential for anti-ageing.
Sunscreens now have some modern solar filters that can block some blue light. Other components that are occasionally included to sunscreens, such as antioxidants, have also been found to lower reactive oxygen species and stop the creation of MMPs, which will likely aid in the battle against photo ageing outside of the UV spectrum. Antioxidants may also guard against elements that have been related to accelerated aging, such as smoking and pollution.
Photo ageing is a gradual process that takes place over time. This process can be slowed down by taking any action you can to reduce exposure, such as wearing garments outside. However, picking the appropriate sunscreen could also make a small difference.
Choosing the right sunscreen
Of course your personal choice also comes into play here while choosing an SPF. The higher the SPF, the more protection you will have against photo ageing. Try to find a sunscreen with a broad spectrum label. That will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. From spring until autumn, be sure to frequently apply sunscreen or products containing SPF. The best course of action is to use a higher SPF product. Reapply frequently if you’re going to be exposed to a lot of sun (such as on a beach vacation).
Although using sunscreen even in the winter is sometimes advised, residents of the UK are unlikely to benefit much from this since UV radiation is at its lowest at this time of year. However, sunscreen will still be helpful if you go on a skiing vacation or reside somewhere with a lot of snow. This is because the latter reflects solar radiation.
The overwhelming majority of research points to sunscreen use as the most efficient method of preventing photo ageing. This is because it stops damage from occurring in the first place. Finding the product that works best for you is now easier than ever, thanks to the increased options and constantly improving formulations. Now you know why sunscreen is essential for anti-ageing. A final word of caution, though: using sunscreen before lying out in the sun won’t fully protect you, and this extends beyond photo ageing. During summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with excessive sun exposure, including sunburn and skin cancer.