Sun exposure and premature aging

We all know that the sun can cause short term damage to the skin by giving us sunburn, but are there any long term effects from too much sun?

The answer is yes!

In fact, many will argue that excessive sun exposure is the leading cause of premature aging skin. Why is this? When the sun brightens up the world, it releases what are called UV rays. These UV rays can be doing a lot of harm to your skin if you are not following the appropriate procedures to protect yourselfsun exposure and premature aging

How does sunlight affect the aging of skin?

Ultraviolet radiation can damage the skin in numerous ways. Some of these damaging effects include…

Damaging effects on the epidermis

Ultraviolet light causes damage to the skins epidermis layer. Inflammation begins to form and free radicals spread throughout your skin.

This is very bad for the health of the skin and can produce negative long terms effects such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Slowed Epidermal growth factors

Healthy epidermal growth is vital for young and healthy skin. Epidermal growth factors work to heal any inflammation in the skin. They help produce collagen, elastin, and fibroblasts which are all important building properties for the skin.

Ultraviolet radiation can destroy these epidermal growth factors. This results in less essential proteins being produced in the skin and allows more aging effects to occur. Overtime, this damaging process will reoccur if you stay unprotected while out in the sun.

Counteracting anti aging products

Applying anti aging products to your skin is something that we highly recommend for those looking to truly achieve younger looking skin. However, the benefits of these anti aging ingredients in the products can be taken right away by UV rays.

UV damage counteracts the benefits that the antioxidants, peptides, ceramides, and other anti aging ingredients that are in these products. This is why it is crucial to wear sunscreen even after applying anti aging creams that contain SPF qualities.

Abundance of Free Radicals

When the skin experiences inflammation, free radicals begin to form. As free radicals form, they multiply very quickly damaging the skin along the way.

Free radicals can cause great harm to your cells. As they fight to gain back their electrons, they can be doing damage to the cells DNA, membrane, and repair mechanisms.

Skin cancer

Not only can over exposure of UV rays cause wrinkled skin, but they can also cause skin cancer as well. In fact, ultraviolet radiation is classified as a carcinogen, meaning it has been proven to cause cancer in the body. Here are a few skin cancer statistics that we have found on

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
  • One person dies from melanoma each hour
  • Around 30% of cancers diagnosed are skin cancer
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined

Not all skin cancers are deadly, in fac, most are curable and quickly treated. Unfortunalty, the process can be very painful and uncomforting. You would also be left with scars on the areas affected by skin cancer.

It’s very important to prevent or catch skin cancer early. Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer which we discuss how to distinguish between melanoma and age spots in our article here.

One of the most daunting effects of obtaining skin cancer is its likely hood of spreading throughout the body. This truly makes sun damage a topic to be taken very seriously. With skin cancer rates so high, you must be very cautious of the UV rays hitting your skin.

Although skin cancer differs from wrinkled skin, we found it very necessary to include in this article. Over time, UV rays will damage and wrinkle the skin leading to a higher susceptibility to skin cancer.

Age spots

One aging effect that occurs more often in people over the age of 50 is the appearance of age spots. Age spots are those brown spots on the skin which are caused by over exposure of the sun.sun exposure and premature aging age spots

When sunlight hits the skin, melanin is produced to protect your skin from the UV rays in return making your skin darker or tan. An over exposure of UV rays on aged skin can cause spots of excess melanin production.

Luckily, you have a few options to get eliminate the appearance of age spots on the skin. With a reputable Vitamin C serum, you should see age spots fading within a few weeks of application. Other procuders include chemical peels, anti aging creams, and liquid nitrogen.



Sun protection factor (SPF)

Now that you are aware of all the daunting effects of sun exposure and premature aging, it’s time to learn all of the ways to prevent UV damage.sun exposure and premature aging SPF

The best thing you can do for your skin is to wear high SPF sunscreen. The higher the SPF your sunscreen has, the larger percentage of UVB rays that the suncreen blocks out. On average, sunscreen will protect a person for about two hours. This means you should be reapplying atleast once every hour and a half to be safe.

Here are some of our best tips for using sunscreen

  • Apply to the areas of your body that you know get burnt quite easily. These spots usually include the shoulders, nose, under the eyes, forehead, feet, and cheeks. This is mainly because these spots are in direct alignment with the sun.
  • Be very cautious and apply more sunscreen during the hours where the sun is at its center point in the sky. This is the time that you are more likely to get sunburnt.
  • Let your sunscreen soak in for 15-20 minutes before you go outside.
  • Apply even on spots you do not think you will get burnt. Many people forget that UV light can be reflected off other objects. For instance, when you are on the beach UV light bounces off the sand onto your body. The same reflection can occur in the water.
  • Be aware of medications that you are taking. Some medications can dry out the skin drastically causing you to be much more vulnerable to UV rays. Make sure to check with your docter about these symptoms. If you notice your skin becoming much more dry after taking a perscription medication, be sure to act much more cautious in the sun. Many experience extreme burns from these situations which can lead to increased vulnerability for more skin issues in the future.
  • Know how your skin type reacts to the sun. If you are of a darker skin you may not need as much sunscreen because your body produces more melanin, but it is still smart to stay safe and apply sunscreen frequently. If your skin is very pale, be sure to always apply plenty of sunscreen when you are out in the sun.


Sun exposure and premature aging are closely related when you do not take the correct procedures to protect your skin. By following these steps and becoming more aware of the damaging effects of UV rays, you will be much less likely to experience premature aging.

Be sure to share this article so more people are aware of this leading cause of premature aging skin. By preventing aging skin and skin cancer, we can lead to a more safe and cancer free life.