Skin ageing: whose skin ages the fastest?

Skin ageing is inevitable. Wrinkles, pigmentation, discolouring, sagging – over time, our body’s largest organ slowly deteriorates due to hormonal shifts, the degenerative effect of free radicals, and the body’s gradual failure to replace damaged skin cells. It’s natural and beautiful and happens to everyone. But it doesn’t happen to everyone at the same rate. Some ageing is inevitable, but much of it is affected by our environment; this is known as extrinsic skin ageing.

What causes extrinsic skin ageing?

Such tough leathery skin is mostly caused by chronic exposure to sunlight, or, more specifically, chronic ultraviolet (UV) radiation. But other environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke, car exhaust and smog are also guilty contributors. So, due to lifestyle and circumstance, certain people are at a higher risk of premature skin ageing than others. You may be at a disadvantage. Let’s have a look.

Skin that’s likely to age faster:

Skin that lives in dry, sunny areas

People living in sunny climates are exposed to more UV light throughout the year, even if they do not sunbathe or deliberately seek the sun. There is a cumulative build up of UV damage over the years, even if they never get burnt. Also,in dry weather, your skin’s natural moisture evaporates more quickly. It’s easier for it to become stiff and is scientifically proven to have heavier folds after you smile or talk. In addition to the higher sun exposure, this means that for anyone wanting to live their best life in the Mediterranean, it’ll take extra effort and a moisturising daily sunscreen to keep your skin protected, healthy and radiant.

Certain sun-reactive skin types

Sadly, when it comes to ageing, not all skin types were created equal. According to the Fitzpatrick sun-reactive skin types, the first three types are more vulnerable to the sun’s rays and premature skin ageing. That means people with white, freckled, and even olive skin, or blonde and red hair, or blue and green eyes need to start wearing sunscreen more regularly.

Skin that loves the outdoors

Maybe your job keeps you outdoors 9-5? Dreamy for the soul, not for the skin. Sorry to say, but there probably is such a thing as too much exposure to the elements. Public health agency Care in the Sun says that at least five people every day develop skin cancer as a result of UV exposure at work. Short answer: hats, daily sunscreen, water, and shade. 

High altitude skin

If you’re around 14,000 feet or above off the ground the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your skin. But the extra stress hormones and reduced ability to deliver oxygen to skin tissue will make it hard for your skin to heal. And this increased healing time leads to dry, cracked skin and potential infections. So surprisingly, high altitudes are often a culprit of extrinsic skin ageing.

How can wearing sunscreen help?

As you may have gathered, skin care and protection is all about sunscreen. Using sunscreen properly can strongly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer – you’ll be 40% less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and you’ll lower your melanoma risk by 50%*.  Not to mention that, even while fighting off the danger, it’ll be keeping your complexion even, hydrating your skin, and protecting you against visible signs of ageing. So whether it’s a day by the sea or weeks of gardening, applying daily sunscreen to your body’s exposed areas is the kindest thing you can do for your skin.

Altruist has your back (literally)

Because Altruist sunscreen uses both physical and chemical filters to achieve optimum protection across the UV spectrum it’s a perfect choice. It contains a broad range of photostable UV filters, including the most advanced filter available Tinosorb A2B, so the UV filters won’t break down quickly in the sun. All our products have been specially developed for sensitive skin and to be moisturising, so even if you tick all the boxes for premature skin ageing it doesn’t matter – we can help.

*Source: Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics – The Skin Cancer Foundation

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