Photoaging: Everything You Need to Know Based on Informative Studies

“How old are you?” Uh-oh! Most of us don’t like to answer this dreaded question, right? The body’s natural aging process is inevitable but did you know that most skin aging speeds up due to photoaging?

Some women look younger than their age yet some look older. Who would want to belong on the latter side?


Wrinkles, fine lines, and darks spots lead to sudden aging of the face, making us look older than our real age.

These skin problems are contributed by genetics and one’s physiology. Let’s look at the scientific studies we’ve collated for you and find out how we can avoid it.

What Is Photoaging?

It is a result largely of repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and is characterized clinically by wrinkles, mottled pigmentation, rough skin, and loss of skin tone. (1)

It happens when damaged was done by the combination of UVB to the epidermis which is the outer layer of the skin and UVA to the next layer which is the dermis.

We grew up getting our much-needed daily Vitamin D from sunshine. Being under the sun provides a happy hormone and strengthens our immune system but while we love being outdoors and basking in the sun, these kinds of radiation have negative effects on our skin when exposed excessively.

“90% of Premature Skin Aging is Caused by Over Exposure to Sun’s UVA/UVB radiation.”

– rizbeau –

Sudden aging of the face will then appear that looks wrinkled, loose or flabby, and rough with uneven pigmentation.

Ninety-five percent of the UV radiation reaching earth is UVA rays, which are a great cause of photoaging due to their ability to penetrate deep into the skin. They are prevalent year-round.

UVB rays, also known as sunburn rays, have a 290 to 320 nm wavelength and are more associated with skin cancer than UVA tanning rays, which have a 320 to 400 nm wavelength. This is because UVB rays cause direct DNA damage. (3)

Our skin has three layers, the epidermis (outer), the dermis (middle), and the subcutaneous tissue (bottom-most layer). The middle layer, the dermis, is a fibrous structure of proteins composed of collagen, elastic tissue, and other extracellular components that include vasculature, nerve endings, hair follicles, and glands. (2)

Radiation from UV destroys the proteins in our epidermis, resulting in photoaging of the skin.

How To Prevent Photoaging of Skin?

Even if you haven’t seen any signs of skin aging, it’s still best to be proactive in preventing them. Dermatologists always recommend applying sunscreen every time we go out.

Not only in summer, when the sun is so bright, because UV rays can penetrate clouds.

Also, if we have an errand outside, best not to schedule between 10 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon because that’s when the sun rays are at their peak.

However, when we really need to be outside during those hours, use an umbrella for shade and apply sunscreen, as mentioned above. 

Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure. As a general guide, use 1 ounce (30 grams) to cover your entire body.

Re-apply the sunscreen after swimming or sweating or drying off with a towel or if it has rubbed off. If you are outside for long periods, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. (4)

Sunscreens have differences. Choose one that is broad-spectrum which means it can both protects us from UVA and UVB rays.

It should also have at least 30 SPF or Sun Protection Factor. Dermatologists also recommend that you look for the words “water-resistant.”

This tells you that the sunscreen will stay on wet or sweaty skin for a while before you need to reapply. Water-resistant sunscreen lasts either 40 or 80 minutes. Not all of them offer water resistance. (8)

3 of the Best Mineral Sunscreens

  • EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 (available in the USA). This facial sunscreen is oil-free and is recommended by dermatologists because it helps calm and protects sensitive skin types prone to acne, rosacea, and discoloration. It is lightweight, sheer, and silky that contains ingredients that the appearance of healthy-looking skin.
  • La Roche-Posay Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (available in Canada). It contains a filter of 100% mineral origin that has been rigorously formulated and was tested under dermatological control. It’s great that it’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. A plus because it’s water-resistant and has a weightless texture that quickly penetrates, leaving the skin matte.
  • Banana Boat Mineral Sunscreen for KIDS SPF 50 (available in the USA, and Canada) – it is a mild, tear-free formula to protect kids from damaging UVA/UVB. Specifically designed to feel lightweight and easy to rub in. A gentle, and water-resistant sunscreen that is best for kids.

Just recently, I had discovered a new sun protection product that specially formulated to target photoaging. Please welcome, Eucerin Photoaging Control Sun Fluid SPF 50.

It’s available both in the USA and in Canada. It’s a superior facial sunscreen for all skin types as it helps prevent photoaging and visibly reduces wrinkles.

American Academy of Dermatology Association stated that findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging.

Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.

Moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more youthful appearance.

Aside from these prevention steps, you can also incorporate anti-aging skin care tips in your routine to help further with clear skin.

Treatment for Photoaging of Skin

If you have already over exposed your skin to UVA and UVB, and it had been damaged, there’s still a way to save it.

Fortunately, there are current treatments that can help us. Surgical approaches include face-lift, dermabrasion, chemical peeling, collagen, and botulinum toxin injections, and laser resurfacing. These approaches all have benefits and improve the clinical features of facial photoaging. (5)

The drug treatment of photoaged skin can be categorized as antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids, and topical retinoids. Of these 3 approaches only topical retinoids, particularly tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid), have a well-documented ability to repair photoaged skin at the clinical, histological and molecular level. Furthermore, the use of topical retinoids may actually prevent it. (5)

Although a number of surgical procedures can improve the clinical appearance of photoaged skin, the only medical therapy with the proven benefit derived from randomized clinical trial evidence is the use of topical retinoids, particularly tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene.

Retinoids are capable not only of repairing photoaged skin at both the clinical and biochemical levels. (7) Topical tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid), the only agent approved so far for the treatment of photoaging, also works to prevent it. (1)

But did you know that there’s a natural alternative to retinol? Presenting Bakuchiol, a plant-derived ingredient that functions similar to retinol without the negative effects like redness, dryness, sun sensitivity, and peeling.

Get ahold of these Bakuchiol Beauties

  • This Bakuchiol serum that’s available in the US synergistically blends with squalane, aloe vera, pomegranate, and lavender to target and enhance signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, sun spots, brightness, firmness, and elasticity.
  • This Bakuchiol face oil that is available in Canada contains avocado (Vitamin C), argan oil, rosehip, and vitamin E help to moisturize, hydrate skin, reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines with a non-oily feel.


Our skin is the largest body organ and the first line of protection. It needs much more care than we ever think of.

We may not slow down its normal process of aging. But we can definitely decrease the effects of external factors that damaged it.

Sun may be our best buddy but also can be our worst enemy. But with proper knowledge and application, our skin will surely thank us. 😊

Be in the know with other proven ways to prevent skin aging by grabbing the free guide below.

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