The Aging Effects of UV Rays

Those not-so-wonderful wrinkles, fine lines, and liver spots we collect over time are not a sign of aging, they are a sign of cumulative UV exposure. Learn how to prevent premature aging from the sun on the UV Skinz blog.
Woman looking at her wrinkles caused by UVA exposure

When it comes to ultraviolet light, UVB rays get a lot of the spotlight as they're the cause of melanoma. But what about UVA rays?

Although not discussed as much, UVA rays do their own type of damage to our skin.

Those not-so-wonderful wrinkles, fine lines, and liver spots we collect over time are not a sign of aging. They are a sign of cumulative UV exposure, more specifically, UVA exposure. Today, we go over the aging effects of UV rays. 

How Do UV Rays Cause Aging?

Exposure to UV light damages the skin, specifically the outer layer of the skin that contains melanin. Melanin protects the skin from UV rays, but UV rays can also burn the skin and reduce its elasticity, according to Medline Plus
The sun's UV radiation is responsible for 80 percent of facial aging, including wrinkles, saggy skin, and spotty pigmentation. UVA rays with their longer wavelength are responsible for much of the aging we associate with photoaging. 

What Is Photoaging?

Photoaging refers to that cumulative sun damage that is responsible for 90% of visible changes to the skin.

Signs of photoaging include the following:

  • Spider veins on the nose, cheeks, and neck.
  • Freckles and age or liver spots.
  • Wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, and on the forehead.
  • Loss of skin tone
  • Red, rough scaly spots.

How to Slow Down the Aging Process

Rolling back the clock may not be possible, but it is easy to slow down the aging process with proper sun care. Following good sun protection practices can keep you looking younger regardless of how many years may pass.

Catch Some Shade

The best way to avoid sun exposure is to stay out of it. That means staying in the shade.

If there is no shade, make your own. There are many convenient and affordable sun umbrellas, tents, and canopies on the market.

Don’t forget about the most essential source of shade, a trusty sun hat

Avoid Peak UV Hours

UV levels are constantly changing. Some days are better than others and some times are better than others. 

When planning outdoor activities, check the UV Index to help with scheduling. 

Use Coverage Like UPF 50+ Swimwear/Clothing

Sun protection swimwear/clothing can greatly reduce sun exposure. UPF 50+ certified clothing blocks over 98% of the sun’s harmful rays.

UV Skinz has certified UPF 50+ sun protection apparel for everyone in the family. 

Apply Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen and then re-apply it, and re-apply it again. You just can’t use too much sunscreen. Remember to apply it after swimming or sweating too. 

When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it is “broad-spectrum”. That means it will protect against both UVB and UVA rays.

Skip Tanning Beds

A tanning bed session is a highly-concentrated dose of UVA. Stay away.

By living a sun-safe life, you’ll reduce both the chance of skin cancer and aging. 

If you need to shop for sun-protective swimwear and clothing, be sure to check out some of our favorites here at UV Skinz.