The Secret to Young Skin
Let’s all admit when we’re twenty-something and feel invincible, we’re not too worried about sun-soaking our skin. The possibility of wrinkles and spots seems more like an urban legend than a reality — that is until....we reach our 30’s. It’s only once we start seeing the signs of skin damage, we get wiser about using sunscreen. But why wait? By using sunscreen daily and focusing on prevention, you can actually delay most signs of UV-related skin aging.
Let's talk about the latest findings in anti-aging research to help unlock the secret to how sunscreen keeps our skin young.
It’s all about prevention
According to the FDA, a whopping 80% of skin aging is due to UV light. Let’s not downplay this fact! It means that only 20% of skin aging is caused by genetics and poor lifestyle choices (binge eating, stress, etc.). So, unlike what most skincare companies claim, we naturally have a lot of control over the aging process. How? Three letters: SPF.
By focusing on prevention with a daily SPF, we can avoid 80% of skin-related aging… that’s incredible! We’re often told we need fancy non-surgical treatments or lasers to stay young looking. It’s simply not true. And unfortunately, that’s why using a daily SPF is enormously underrated.
What the studies say...
To explore the topic further, a team of researchers tracked the results of using facial sun protection (with SPF 30) for one year.
In clinical evaluations, researchers saw that photoaging improved significantly as early as Week 12 and these positive changes continued until Week 52. As the study reports, “Skin texture, clarity, and mottled and discrete pigmentation were the most improved parameters by the end of the study (40% to 52% improvement from baseline), with 100% of subjects showing improvement in skin clarity and texture.” In simple terms, the study shows that by using SPF every day for a year, the skin has time to recover and self-repair and is protected from further damage, resulting in smoother skin with more even tone and less breakouts. Wait, what? Yes, not only does SPF protect you in the moment, it actually helps you recover from some of those past bad skin decisions.
How does UV light cause skin damage?
UV sunlight is a youth-zapper for our skin. It produces free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that steal energy from our healthy cells. Basically, by destroying antioxidants, UV rays speed up the timeline of cellular decay — or in other words, the aging process.
UVA vs. UVB rays
UV is a blanket term for two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. While both types are dangerous, they affect the skin tissue differently.
“UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply, damaging the elastin (which keeps the skin supple) and collagen (which maintains the skin’s thickness) in the skin’s middle layer, causing sagging and wrinkles,” says Christine Sugars, a spokesperson for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. UVB rays, on the other hand, have shorter wavelengths so they are more likely to cause superficial skin damage. As Christine explains, “UVB rays affect the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, and also the melanocyte cells, to produce brown pigment.”
Signs of UV-related skin aging
From deep to superficial damage, the signs of UV-related skin aging can show up in all different ways.
In the early stages, you’ll notice your skin becoming thinner and more fragile. “The skin becomes thin with a transparent texture and it bruises and blisters easily,” says Dr. Julia Newton Bishop, consultant dermatologist at St. James University Hospital in Leeds. With continued UV exposure over years, the FDA reports deeper damage: leathery texture, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
So you want healthy, glowing skin...
The trick to maintaining youthful skin is not a big secret! The answer is simple: use SPF daily. Try Nuria’s Defend Matte Finish Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 which provides all-mineral sun protection without compromise – this clean formula works on all skin tones, forming a transparent barrier to shield and protect from harmful aggressors like UVA/UVB rays & pollution and keep your skin glowing. By sticking to a strict habit of sun protection, you’ll be smiling ten years down the road, especially when people ask, “How do you look so young for your age?”
About the author, Naomi Furgiuele
Naomi is the founder of Nuria and a self-professed nerd with a love for all things science and skin care. She’s had a hand in product development for some of the biggest global beauty brands in the business, gets some of her best ideas while out on a run, and loves her exfoliator almost as much as her awesome family.