When it comes to facial aging, studies show that as much as 80% of our appearance is caused by our sun habits—not the passage of time. The good news is that while dermatologists once believed that 80% of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurred by age 18, we now know that only 20% of lifetime sun damage occurs by age 23, with 10% accumulating per decade thereafter.
Even if you were neglectful of sun protection as a child or teen, you can take a stand on how you age going forward. While most people know that skipping sunscreen when lounging at the pool is a bad idea, few realize that incidental sun exposure can be even more damaging. Whether sitting in a sunny office, commuting on the freeway or walking the dog, if we neglect to protect ourselves from daily sun damage, we’re putting our skin at risk for greater photoaging in the long run. Slathering your skin with a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen and applying it often is the best way to shift the balance of power in your favor.
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