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5 Signs of Aging You Can Blame on Bad Sun Habits

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One of the biggest sources of skin damage and conditions associated with aging is from exposure to the sun. If you want to keep your skin healthy, taut and glowing for as long as possible then you had better be prepared when you go outside in the sun. Using the right sunscreen, applying it at proper intervals, covering your skin with clothing, or using things like hats, umbrellas or natural sources of shade are crucial to protect your skin. Here are 5 signs on your skin that will show you that you have bad sun habits.

Photoaging

Also known as unilateral dermatoheliosis, it is a condition where constant and unprotected exposure to the sun over long periods of time causes damage to five layers of your skin: the epidermis, dermis, blood vessels, sebaceous glands, and melanocytes. There is a famous case of a truck driver who after 28 years of driving with the sun mostly shining through on one side of his face had extreme levels of numerous conditions and skin damage.

Think about it, what if you work in an office by a window that has the sun shining onto your skin for a large portion of the day, drive a truck or vehicle a lot like the truck driver, or if you work outside in construction, landscaping, and so on. If you do, you need to make sure your skin is either properly covered or protected by good sunscreen.

Loss of Skin Elasticity

Another sign that you have bad habits in not protecting your skin from sun damage is when your skin loses its elasticity. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, around 90% of visible skin damage that we think is due to natural aging might be because of unprotected exposure to the sun, including:

  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin
  • Bags under your eyes and baggy skin in other areas

Those are three signs that your skin is losing its tautness or elasticity, and has strong links to being caused by sun damage. If you want to prevent it, make sure you take proper protective measures for your skin.

Pigmentation Disorders

Similar studies have been performed to examine the differences in signs of aging between people who are in the sun more than average, and those who are in the sun less than average. One of the signs of aging they found to be linked to sun exposure was pigmentation disorders, where the color of your skin changes either in patches or completely due to a disruption in your usual melanin levels. If you want to maintain your skin’s normal, healthy coloring then you should make sure that you keep your skin covered by clothing, strong sunscreen, and shading.

Skin Thickness

Another sign of sun damaged skin is if it becomes either more thick and leathery or very thin, dry and brittle. As you get older, your skin slowly loses its ability to repair itself, and having more exposure to the radiation of sunlight can speed up that process dramatically. If you’ve ever felt the texture of your skin when it gets sunburned, and the top layer feels dry, thin and peeling, that’s exactly what your skin can feel like — permanently — after too much exposure to the sun over time.

On the other side, if you’ve ever had a summer that you spent outdoors constantly, either for a summer job, camping, going to the beach, or just tanning every day then you might notice your skin feel tough and thick like leather. This is another condition that your skin can heal over time when you’re younger, but much less so the older you get, and the more you expose your skin to the sun unprotected.

Age Spots

Age spots are sometimes confused with freckles, in that both are small darkened spots or areas on your skin. They can be larger than freckles, and will mostly appear on the areas of your body most exposed to the sun: your face, hands, arms, and shoulders. Age spots are more typical of people who are age 50 or older, but if you’re starting to notice that you’re getting them at younger ages it is likely because you are spending too much time in the sun without properly protecting your skin.