The American Academy of Dermatology defines “photoaging” as damage to the skin caused by “intense and chronic exposure to sunlight.” We all see visible results of photoaging-either in ourselves or by looking at others around us. Photoaging is what causes those fine wrinkles, mottled “age”spots and other unwelcome pigmentation we often see on our skin as we get older. It also causes our skin to become rough and “weathered.”
My maternal grandmother had extremely damaged skin due to extensive photoaging. I had always hoped to avoid it and started out in my early 20’s using skin care products with SPF to protect it. I knew it would be hard to alleviate skin damage from photaging because I had spent most of my childhood outdoors under the scorching Missouri sun growing up and working outdoors on a farm.
What many people fail to realize, and what the American Academy of Dermatology and all dermatologists in general, are trying to stress to the public, is that photoaging is not a direct result of chronological age. It is the end result of a person’s accumulated time spent in the sun and what they did, or didn’t do to protect themselves while under its damaging UV rays.
Just because someone’s skin looks rough, weathered, old and wrinkled doesn’t necessarily mean they are as old as they look or you perceive them to be. On the other hand, whenever we see someone with skin that decries their advanced years, we typically may wonder if this is “natural” and the person has aged “gracefully” or whether their youthful skin is just the result of cosmetic surgery or procedures.
The good news is there are certain steps that all of us can take to help protect our skin and keep it looking its best throughout our lifetime. And no, that doesn’t necessarily include needing some expensive cosmetic surgery or procedure.
Tips to prevent photoaging and reduce its effects all center around avoiding the midday sun, preventing and protection the skin from photoaging by shielding it from further damage and using products and treatments to rejuvenate the skin.
Tip #1.) Avoid the midday sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense.
Tip #2) Use sunscreen with UV protectionto prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation that causes photoaging
Tip #3) Use physical protection of clothing, hats, umbrellas and overhead shade protection from awnings, tents, porches, etc. to shield you from direct sun exposure.
Tip #4) Use skin rejuvenation treatments. These are all those lotions ad potions that women seem unable to live without. They really do work. For years, I have bragged up the AVON Anew line of anti-wrinkle creams for helping look younger than my 50+ years.
Tip #5) Avoid sunbathing and indoor tanning lamps and beds. Besides increasing UV exposure and accelerating the photaging process, these activities are known to increase risk for skin cancer as well.
Tip #6) Remember to use skin protection even on cloudy days because the sun’s UV rays are still out.
For more tips on what can do to help reduce photoaging and damage to the skin visit the American Academy of Dermatology website http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/photoaging.html