Friday, 10 August 2012

How to Retain Youthful Skin/ Part 1: Sun

Last night when I couldn't sleep I noticed Horizon's The Truth About Looking Young on BBC2, thought I'd stick it on and it was actually very interesting. Like the title suggests it covered the topic of anti-aging. How you age and how to prevent it. Most of it is already common sense such as sun and diet are the things that effect you're aging, but I thought I'd give a run down of what was said.


Mr Sun
How does it age you?
So there's two different types of rays that effect the skin, UVA and UVB. UVA ages you and UVB burns you. Only UVA ages you because the rays are strong enough to penetrate the skin, whereas UVB can only enter the epidermis therefore only burning your skin on top.

Screen cap from BBC iPlayer.

Scientists have studied lorry drivers, because despite them spending a lot of time inside their cabs, where the windows protect them against UVB rays, they're not protected against UVA. Since lorry drivers aren't known for their beauty regimes, it can be trusted they are doing nothing to protect themselves from the sun, making them perfect test subjects. The results show that they significantly more wrinkles on their right side (the road side) proving that UVA rays are responsible for aging you.

Screen cap from BBC iPlayer.
This photo of the presenter's face shows the vast difference between number of wrinkles (green lines) even for normal drivers.

How can you prevent it?
I think we all know the answer is wearing an SPF everyday, not just when you're going to be in the sun. Look for products with 5* UVA ratings, such as No.7's Lift and Luminate Day Cream. for full anti-aging benefits and a high SPF number for UVB protection.

However the secret to ultimate protection from the sun's ray lies in the sea. Since all fish and such like don't burn or seem to suffer any harmful effects of the sun, they looked into why. It appears that coral is able to create a substance that it absorbed into its cells that protects itself from both UVA and UVB rays. The fish then eat the coral, so it's passed through the food chain.

The Future
Using this knowledge scientists are developing a once-a-day capsule which has the ability to provide high protection from UVA rays and medium protection from UVB. Which means you can stop the aging effects of the sun and still tan without having to slather on the sun cream every few hours. It's hopefully going to be ready for release in 5 years. Just 5 years! This has the potential to revolutionise the sun care and beauty market, so keep your eyes peeled!

Hopefully this isn't too wordy and I've managed to explain it in simple but detailed manner. In part two tomorrow I'll talk about diet. Or if you can't wait go and watch it yourself here.

Annie x


  1. Very interesting post. I had a skincare class in my pharm. asst. class and i never took this serious. I am out in the sun alot, love tanning beds...and a few months ago, i started seing a difference in my facial skin. I have a lot dark spot, first i thought they were freckles, but they're not. It's quite a sun damage and i don't know how to get rid of. I won't leave the house again without spf in my face and i am looking for a smooth exfoliator and some bleaching products right now :(

    1. Thank you! Wasn't sure if this was too science-y. I know, I've never really taken it too seriously before. At least now you can stop it getting much worse. x