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Sun Exposure and Aging

Being outside and enjoying the beautiful sunshine always brings us back to the good-old days of being a kid. However, unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to early signs of aging. The UV radiation from the sun can negatively impact the proteins and cells that make your skin look young and give it that bounce, and thus contributed to premature aging. 

The two major proteins that keep your skin looking youthful are elastin and collagen. As the name suggests, elastin is what allows your skin to bounce and maintain its resiliency. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body! The role of collagen is to hold the body together. It is responsible for maintaining your skin’s rigidity and can be found in our bones, muscles, and tendons! The special cells we have to thank for a youthful appearance are stem cells. Stem cells play an important role in the regeneration for new cells. If they don’t function properly, new skin cells are not created, causing the skin to deteriorate over time.

This is where the sun’s rays come into play. UV radiation from the sun activates enzymes in your body that break down elastin and collagen, thus with prolonged exposure, your skin will lose its firmness and elasticity. UV radiation also causes stem cells to die, which then contributes to the thinning and wrinkling of the skin. The best way to avoid early signs of aging is by wearing broad spectrum sunscreen and practicing sun safe habits when spending time outside!

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