Growing old is inevitably part of life—but that doesn’t mean your skin has to age with you. While ageing may cause you to lose skin elasticity and bring wrinkles over time, different aspects of our lives could also cause our skin to age prematurely, speeding up the skin’s ageing process.
We spoke with Dr. Davin Lim, an award-winning dermatologist known for his educational skincare content on Instagram and YouTube videos. In this article, the Brisbane-based dermatologist explains what premature skin ageing is, the causes behind it, how it can be prevented, as well as possible ways to reduce premature skin ageing.
What is premature skin ageing and what are the causes behind it?
Premature skin ageing, as the name suggests, is accelerated collagen loss that is more advanced than what is considered normal for one’s age.
This gives wrinkles, laxity and enlarged pores. Advanced ageing is also associated with skin pigmentation. The two biggest causes behind accelerated ageing are UV exposure and smoking. Stress, dehydration & diet all contribute to premature ageing.
Can you reverse premature skin ageing?
“The good news is that there are effective ways to reduce premature ageing. The first step is to prevent further accelerated ageing—This means sunscreen & antioxidants,” Dr. Lim explains.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of wearing sunscreen by now. Aside from protecting us from skin cancer, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis—regardless of whether you’ll be out all day in the sun, or if it’s just a regular day in the office—keeps us safe from harmful UV rays that’ll silently hammer away our skin, leading to wrinkles and sunspots.
A study has even found that daily sunscreen use of SPF 30 could even reverse signs of ageing. Participants from the study saw reduced hyperpigmentation, improved skin texture and skin clarity after just a year’s use of sunscreen.
If you’ve got your sunscreen game down already, it might be time to think about adding antioxidants into your routine. Antioxidants protect the skin “against UV and environmental pollutants that attack your skin cell’s DNA. From there, add the essential skin vitamins, namely retinol, niacinamide & ascorbic acid. Vitamins can boost collagen and reduce unwanted pigmentation,” says Dr. Lim.