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Environmental Influences & Aging

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Intrinsic or innate aging is a naturally occurring process, which is genetically determined and a result of slow tissue degeneration.

Extrinsic aging refers to the superimposed effects on those of innate aging, is induced and accelerated by environmental influences, primarily ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but also smoking and air pollution.

Sun protection to prevent sun damage
Photoaging & Sun Protection


Unlike normal, chronological aging, which is dictated by age and genetics, photoaging (extrinsic) happens when UV light from the sun and/or tanning beds permanently damages the skin’s structure. When ultraviolet light hits the skin unprotected by sunscreen, IT CAUSES DNA CHANGES at a cellular level. Photoaging happens in the deepest layers of the skin and can take years before the damage surfaces and becomes visible!

Signs of UV-induced aging include:

- Wrinkles

- Pigmentation changes, such as, age spots, liver spots and freckles

- Decreased elasticity (loss of skin tone)

- Uneven skin texture

- Broken Capillaries

- Redness and blotchiness

Who is susceptible to photoaging?

Everyone is susceptible to photoaging, but how much sun damage you sustain depends on how much unprotected sun exposure you’ve had over time, in addition to your skin type and geographical factors.

Lighter skin is more prone to photoaging and skin cancer while darker skin is more likely to develop uneven dark patches known as melasma.

Photodamage risk can be assessed by using the Fitzpatrick’s Scale, used by dermatologists, to determine skin’s phototype (or skin color):

  • Type I—Pale skin, light-colored eyes, blond or red hair. Always burns, does not tan.

  • Type II—Fair skin with light-colored eyes. Burns easily but may tan.

  • Type III—Medium light skin that initially burns and then tans.

  • Type IV—Light brown skin that tans with minimal burning.

  • Type V—Medium brown skin that rarely burns.

  • Type VI—Dark brown or black skin that tans easily and never burns.

What can we do to PREVENT photoaging?

It's never too late to practice good sun protection to PREVENT further photodamage!

sunscreen to prevent skin cancer
ZO Skin Health Sun Protection

As per the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is recommended to choose the best sunscreen that you are most likely to use, as long as it provides safe and effective protection, and is broad spectrum and with SPF 15 or higher. The happier you are with your sunscreen, the more consistently you’ll use it!

At MediAesthetics we offer a variety of sunscreen options from ZO Skin Health which include:

1. Sunscreen + Primer Broad-Spectrum SPF30

2. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF50

3. Sheer Fluid Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF50

4. Sunscreen + Powder Broad Spectrum SPF45

The ZO Skin Health sun protection portfolio offers scientifically superior sunscreens which shield against UVA and UVB rays, high-energy visible (HEV) blue light, IR-A (infrared) rays and pollution.

The best path to beautiful, healthy skin is to adopt as many sun protection steps as possible into your lifestyle, and make them daily habits everywhere you go, all year long. Aside from sunscreen it is recommended to seek the shade whenever possible, wear sun-safe clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses!

Stay tuned for more information on photoaging and treatment options available here at MediAesthetics!
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