Does the sun speed up the skin’s ageing process? Read on for expert advice from one of our Cosmetic Physicians to learn more about the sun’s ageing effects on our skin, and how you can prevent and treat solar-damaged skin.

Ageing skin

This photo is not the product of Photoshop. It is a true image published in a respected medical journal of a 69-year-old American truck driver. Mr McElligott delivered milk around Chicago for 28 years. He started noticing the asymmetry in his face after 15 years when his grandkids questioned what the bumps on the left side of his face were.

This is a striking evidence of the ageing impact of the sun.

Does the sun actually cause ageing?

The sun causes ageing effects to our skin. While the sun’s UVB rays are mostly implicated in causing skin cancers, UVA rays are blamed for photo ageing.

UVA accounts for more than 90 per cent of the UV radiation reaching the earth. Unlike UVB, These rays maintain the same level of strength during daylight hours throughout the year. This means that our skin is exposed to high levels of UVA rays over time.

What does photo ageing look like?

Photo ageing develops as pigmentation (brown spots, freckles, patches of darker skin), wrinkles, lines, broken capillaries, and uneven skin texture.

Does the sun’s UV rays affect skin ageing?

UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB which allows them to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers. Cumulative heavy UVA exposure can destroy our skin’s collagen and elastin, leading to premature ageing. It also contributes to the appearance of pigment and broken capillaries.

Unlike UVB, UVA can penetrate through windows and cloud cover.

Can photo ageing be prevented?

Here are some tips to prevent photo ageing:

  • Choose your sunscreen carefully and ensure it’s protective for both UVB+A. This is usually called “broad-spectrum” on the label.
  • Don’t assume protection from tinted car windows. If you drive long hours, take extra measures and reapply your sunscreen according to the label.

Can ageing from the sun be reversed?

Medical and cosmetic treatments available in select clinic locations to treat the signs of photo ageing:

  • Rapid solar repair therapy: Topical treatment to reduce your skin cancer risk and treat superficial skin cancers, precancerous lesions, sun spots and more, with excellent cosmetic results on sun-damaged and sun-aged skin.
  • Cosmelan depigmentation therapy: Controls melasma and pigmentation, evens out your complexion and reveals brighter skin.
  • Microdermabrasion: Treats sun damage, clogged pores, fine lines and more to achieve a refreshed complexion.
  • LED light therapy: Light energy is delivered deep into skin tissue with a powerful healing effect as it stimulates dermal blood flow and enhances the skin’s ability to repair itself, leaving skin smooth and healthy.
  • Autologous “Liquid Gold” Facelift: Stimulates new cell growth, improves your skin texture and restores lost facial volume for total facial and skin rejuvenation using the healing powers of your own blood.
  • Chemical peels: Peels address different skin concerns including acne, pigmentation and ageing, to help refine, resurface, restore or rejuvenate your skin.
  • Laser skin rejuvenation: Laser therapies boost collagen production for smoother, firmer skin and overall skin rejuvenation.
  • Radiofrequency treatments: Radiofrequency treatments are a non-surgical skin tightening method, ideal for treating wrinkles, lines and sun damage.