The impact of sun exposure on collagen


Skin ageing is a normal and natural process which is influenced by internal and external factors.

Ultraviolet (UV) light pays a major contribution to the ageing of the skin -in fact UV is known to accelerate skin ageing.

Photoaging is the term given to UV induced ageing of the skin; it is typified by dyspigmentation, thickening of the skin, loss of elasticity, lines and wrinkles.

UV light is the energy emitted by the sun and it is especially harmful to the skin during months of high UVR levels (usually during the warmer months of the year).

There are three different UV wavelenghths…

  • UVA: 315nm-400nm
  • UVB: 280nm-315nm
  • UVC: 100nm-28nm

UVC is almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer of the atmosphere and therefor has no effect on the skin.

UVB is predominately absorbed by the epidermis and causes sun burn.

UVA has been shown to be absorbed by up to 20% in the dermis.

UV exposure prompts a chain reaction of processes in the skin. UV light elicits free radical activity which causes oxidative stress in skin cells. This leads to inflammation and degradation of  collagen and elastin.

UVB also leads to free radical activity linked to collagen degradation through activation of receptors on epidermal cells.

Although the skin does have the ability to remove and replace damaged collagen fibres, it has been shown to do this at a reduced capacity following UV exposure.

Over time this will cause the once uniform and organised collagen bundles to become cross linked and disorderly, the flow on effect of this being the onset of lines, wrinkles and skin laxity.

You can see why we say that sunscreen is the best anti-aging product to have in your routine! Without it, a lot of damage will be done.

Many of our patients find it hard to find a good sunscreen to work into their skincare routine, so here are a few SPF50+ recommendations…

K Ceutic  

Great for normal to dry skin and for using as a part of your post treatment recovery.

LaRoche Posay Anti-shine

Perfect for oily and breakout prone skin. Leaves a matt finish and is light weight.

LaRoche Posay Comfort Cream

For sensitive skin types, particularly those who have sensitive eyes.

Rationale Beautiful Skin Superfluid

This luminising tinted SPF50+ gives the skin a beautiful glow with light coverage.

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