Did you know that up to 90% of visible skin aging is caused by the sun? That’s right, the very thing that gives us life can also take it away – well, not literally, but you get the point.
As someone who has spent countless hours soaking up the sun’s rays, I can tell you firsthand how damaging it can be. From wrinkles and age spots to more serious issues like skin cancer, the sun is not something to take lightly.
What happens in the skin exposed to too much sun?
Skin aging is a natural process that occurs as we grow older. However, exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can accelerate this process, leading to premature aging.
The sun’s UV rays penetrate the skin and damage collagen and elastin fibers, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and elastic. This damage can cause wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Additionally, UV rays can also cause DNA damage in skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.
UVB exposure generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin cells and activates aging-related signal transduction system by promoting oxidative stress, leading to decreased synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen and elastin in connective tissues of the skin by binding to unsaturated fatty acids and proteins. Collagen, a major matrix protein synthesized in fibroblasts and degraded by matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), accounts for 70–80% of the dry weight of skin tissue.
Natural way to protect skin
One of the most effective ways to prevent skin damage from the sun is to limit your exposure during peak hours. This means avoiding being outside when the sun is at its strongest, typically between 10am and 4pm. If you do need to be outside during these hours, consider wearing protective clothing such as a hat or long-sleeved shirt.
Another important way to protect your skin is to use sunscreen. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it generously to all exposed skin. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to protect your lips with a lip balm that contains SPF.
Foods to protect skin from Sun Aging
There are several foods that can help protect your skin from sun damage. One of the most effective is dark chocolate, which contains flavanols that can reduce UV damage, increase blood flow to the skin, and improve skin hydration. Other foods that can help include tomatoes, green tea, salmon, and almonds.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can protect the skin from UV damage and reduce inflammation. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which can help prevent DNA damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve skin health. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, which can protect the skin from UV damage and improve skin hydration.
1.Bacterially Converted Oat Active Ingredients Enhances Antioxidative and Anti-UVB Photoaging Activities