We know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. After all, we see our skin get darker when we bask in the sun, and we also know that too much sunshine burns our skin. But what does over-exposure to the sun really do to our skin?
Over-exposure to the sun can cause hyperpigmentation, dark spots and dull skin. According to skin experts at The Pond’s Institute, it can eventually lead to a process known as photo aging. Read on as the experts shine more light on the science behind photo aging.
Photo aging is a sign of UV damage on your skin.
What is photo aging?
Photo aging refers to the process that your skin undergoes when constantly overexposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays. This can eventually give your skin a darkened, leathery appearance.
How does photo aging happen?
Photo aging begins with the sun. UVA and UVB are invisible but harmful rays that come from the sun. As part of our skin’s self-defence mechanism, the melanocytes in the dermis layer of our skin produce melanin to protect cells from damage, when it is exposed to the sun. Melanin causes skin to naturally tan. Over-production of melanin may also occur, leading to skin cell inflammation.
Skin produces melanin to counter UV damage. But overproduction of melanin can disrupt the skin’s natural processes.
While melanin may be our skin’s primary self-defence mechanism, its over production deep inside can lead to uneven tone and dark spots outside. Over time, these spots within the skin will have disrupted optimum melanin production and cause a chronic process of melanin overproduction.
Since the melanocytes are stuck producing melanin over and over again, the melanin produced is transferred to the surrounding cells and get stuck in the epidermis; and appear to not be shed away with the daily skin renewal process.
This appears on your skin’s surface as uneven skin tone and darkened skin. At this stage, if your skin continues to be exposed to UVA and UVB rays, then, photo aging occurs deep inside and your skin, which takes on a spotted and leathery appearance on the outside.