Hair aging due to sun – what can you do about it?

If there were only one beauty tip that everyone should follow, it would be this one: Never forget the sunscreen! And this also applies to the months when the sun is barely visible, because even then skin aging is caused by the sun. What is the best way to protect yourself and what you can do if there is already sun damage?

UV rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, can cause not only sunburn and health problems. The sun and skin aging are directly related. UV radiation is the main cause of pigmentation spots and wrinkles. What helps? Here is a VIDEO interview with Dr. Sonja Sattler from the Rosenpark Clinic in Darmstadt.

Skin aging caused by the sun. What are possible damages?

“UV light is the most powerful light that can cause skin aging. It mainly affects the cellular structure of the skin, but also the fibers. So-called radicals are formed in the skin as a result of exposure to light and then lead to cell nucleus damage and even the development of cancer. The skin tries to defend itself against this by setting up repair mechanisms, one of which is tanning.”

UV-A, UV-B cause skin reactions. How do they differ?

“In the past, UV-B was thought to be the more harmful wavelength of light, so these rays were also banned from solariums. Today we know that the risk of cell nucleus damage from UV-A is also immensely high and can thus also lead to the development of tumors, especially white skin cancer.

On the subject of skin aging, both wavelengths are equally damaging to fiber structure and also to loss of skin elasticity.”

What effects can short- and long-term sun damage have?

“Too much UV light initially causes sunburn. The skin reacts directly with an inflammatory reaction, in the worst case even small blisters form and the repair mechanisms have to regenerate the induced damage. This repair occurs through a thickening of the skin, cell nucleus damage is broken down as completely as possible.

It is important to know that the skin has a so-called skin memory. Repeated sunburns lead to long-term damage of the skin and thus not only to a loss of elasticity, but also to an irregular pigmentation of the skin. An example of this is pigmentation disorders on the hands. Actually, it can be said that every sun exposure is a damage to the skin and affects the skin memory. Sun and skin aging are directly related.”

How to protect yourself in the summer?

“In Central Europe, brown skin is still a trend. In many other countries around the world, this has long been a thing of the past; for example, in Asia, sunshades are always used for protection from the sun. In Europe, we use sunscreen products with sun protection factors. Even with a high sun protection factor, everyone gets a tan. So it’s better in the long run to tan slowly with high protection.”

Should you wear sunscreen year-round?

“It’s best to incorporate a sun protection factor into your daily skincare routine. There are now very good products, even pigmented as a tinted SPF cream. This product is especially popular with our female customers because it acts like a light makeup or tinted day cream. And don’t forget: Even in the shade, you’re exposed to UV light, so SPF should be used daily.”

What aesthetic medicine remedies can offset sun damage?

“You can apply biostimulants, such as diluted calcium hydroxylapatite, as it activates skin cells. Thicker skin automatically ensures more protection.

If sun damage is already present, we offer treatment with an IPL flash lamp in the winter months to compensate for pigment irregularities. It can reduce or even out pigment damage so that the skin’s appearance becomes even again. Patients who already have the damage ‘stored’ in their skin memory must always reckon with pigment changes when they are exposed to the sun again. Therefore, the treatment with IPL should be repeated more often in autumn and winter.”