How the Sun Damages and Ages Your Skin
Actinic keratoses (thick wart-like patches of reddish skin), age spots, a blotchy complexion, fine wrinkles, freckles, loose skin, rough and leathery skin, spider veins and skin cancer. All these horrors are caused by sun damage. People with fair skin are more prone to signs of sun damage than those with dark skin. No wonder, then, that Korean skincare places great emphasis on serious sun protection as part of their regime.
The Sun Is Vicious
Science has proven that repeated exposure to UV (which accounts for about 10% of the total light output of the sun) breaks down collagen and interferes with the synthesis of new collagen. Why is this a problem? Because collagen plays a major role in strengthening skin and boosting elasticity and hydration.
The sun also attacks our elastin, which is the protein in connective tissue responsible for giving structure to the skin and allowing it to resume shape after being stretched. Chronic inflammation from sun damage causes elastin to cluster into thick bundles called solar elastosis.
Skin which has been damaged by the sun has a thicker outer layer of the skin called the epidermis, which is dead and irregular. These abnormal cells accumulate and can lead to pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
The earlier the better, but it is never too late or too soon to start protecting your skin from the sun. Korean skincare products are ideally suited to protecting all skin types.
Top on the list of favourites, and formulated with 5,500 ppm of aloe leaf extract, COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream boasts powerful sun protection and is soothing enough for everyday wear on sensitive skin.
Other popular SPF choices include the following:
- Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel,
- Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream SPF38+/PA++++,
- Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50/PA+++, and
- Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence - Intensive Moist.