Free shipping on all orders over $50  |  Play smart. Play safe. Non-toxic suncare

Signs of Sun Damage

by kelly / October, 12 2022 01:30

Photo of women's face out at sunset

You may be surprised, I definitely was, that everyday marks on our face are not only signs of getting older, but also signs of sun damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “the way your skin looks may have more to do with how much you’ve basked in the sun than how many birthday orbits around it you’ve made.”

Wow! So what are these telltale signs? Fortunately we’ve compiled a list for you and knowing this information can help prevent further sun damage.


90% of wrinkles are due to cumulative sun damage according to dermatologists Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff and Dr. Tina Alster. That’s because UV radiation damages collagen and elastic proteins that make our skin resilient, supple, and firm. Need proof? Just think how we tend to see more wrinkles on our face than on our unexposed skin. My face definitely has more wrinkles than my stomach for example.

Brown Spots

People think that they are born with freckles or brown spots when in fact these spots are due to your skin being exposed to the sun. As Dr. Sarnoff and Dr. Alster explain: “No, you weren’t. When your mother put you outdoors and exposed your skin to sun for the first time, that’s when you developed freckles.”

Or other people think they are related to age and call them age spots – the truth is they are more related to your lifetime of sun exposure than your age.


Dark and light patches of skin, blotchiness, and even red discoloration are signs of inflammation. Inflamed skin can become hyperpigmented and the sun is a frequent cause of this inflammation.

Many people erroneously seek treatment for hyperpigmentation by using over-the-counter skin lightening products. However, these can often increase inflammation and irritation – leading to more skin blotchiness.

Enlarged Blood Vessels

If you’ve ever noticed spidery, red veins around your nose and cheek – those are also caused by sun exposure. Many people think that these are “broken” blood vessels but it’s not the case. If your blood vessels were actually broken, they’d bleed into the skin and cause bruises.

These spidery red veins are actually enlarged blood vessels. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “Elastin fibers normally hold the blood vessels taut. But when those fibers are broken down by sun exposure, they are unable to support the vessels and hold them tight. The blood vessels thus enlarge (or sag) — and become visible.”


Melasma manifests as dark patches on our skin, particularly on the cheekbones. Hormones such as estrogen can worsen melasma but it’s mostly caused by skin inflammation due to repeated sun exposure.


There are different types of blackheads and the ones I’m referring to are clusters of blackheads that appear on a person’s cheeks or temples – not the kind of blackheads associated with acne. These blackhead clusters are a result of diminished skin elasticity due to over exposure to the sun. When elastin decreases it causes our skin crevices and pores to expand and trap dirt in them that then turns black.

Suncare Smarts

Now you know the sign and are that mush wiser. If you take away anything from this list it’s that protecting our skin from the sun is the best anti-aging weapon! There are so many ways the sun damages our skin, so making sun protection and sunscreen a part of your everyday routine goes a long, long way.

For even more skin care, sunscreen, and sun damage tips check out our Suncare Smarts series.

Tags: , , ,

blog comments powered by Disqus