We’ll admit, a little sunshine now and then can be pleasant for your mood. However, too much UV exposure can do more damage than you might realise.
As we age, our complexion goes through a variety of changes – most commonly hyperpigmentation (the overproduction of melanin) in the form of dark spots or blotches. Many factors can contribute to those changes, but excessive UV-exposure is usually the primary catalyst.
Once you hit adulthood, your skin isn’t in the state that it was in your youth. Production of collagen and elastin (which are both responsible for sustaining your skin’s strength) deteriorates, and what the sun’s UV rays do is actually speed up the process. As a result, this causes your skin to thin, weaken and sag, and signs of hyperpigmentation may show up. Dermatologists refer to this as ‘photo-ageing.’
Other common traits of photo-ageing include: wrinkle development, loss of moisture, dullness and dryness of skin, changes in skin tone as well as loss of volume and elasticity around the face.
Photo-ageing often affects and penetrates the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) and this is where its most visible physical signs (like freckles and dark spots) are seen. All of these symptoms are generally linked to UV-exposure.
What really happens to your skin as you age?
Well, hormonal shifts are in full effect. Once you reach your 40s, your oestrogen levels reach a new low and this often takes a toll on your skin as oestrogen is vital in sustaining your skin’s plumpness and bounce. Ultimately, a reduction in oestrogen leads to a reduction in your skin’s strength, and this makes you more prone or sensitive to the sun’s effects.
So what can be done?
It’s never too late to adopt long-term habits that’ll assist in repairing and protecting your skin.
1 Reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun.
Especially around midday when the sun’s rays are most harsh.
2 Apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
In your 40s, it’s recommended that you use a sun cream that consists of an SPF of 30, 45 or 50. Try NIVEA Sun SPF50 Moisturising Sun Lotion (R170 at Clicks).
3 Wear SPF makeup formulas.
This way you’ll double up on your broad-spectrum protection. Try CLINIQUE Even Better Makeup SPF15 (R435).
3. Cover up when you can.
Wear sunglasses and a hat, and cover up any exposed body parts when temperatures get hot.
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