Premature ageing and sun damage

Premature ageing is a result of structural destruction and deterioration in the normal functioning of skin. As we age, the skin’s natural defence mechanisms, such as collagen and elastin, begin to break down, and we begin to notice the lines and wrinkles that weren’t there before. Collagen gives body tissue shape, firmness and strength, while elastin gives much needed flexibility to your skin. Other signs of skin ageing include pigmentation, sunspots and sagging.

Sun exposure speeds up this ageing process. UV from the sun breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. It also attacks the skin’s elastin fibres. Without supportive connective tissue (collagen and elastin), the skin loses its strength and flexibility.

Causes

It is natural for our skin to lose some of its youthfulness as we age. But factors such as smoking, nutrition, exercise and not using SPF protection can accelerate the skin’s ageing process.