The sun is the cause of 80% of skin wrinkles. – Masderm Cosmética Go directly to content

The sun is the cause of 80% of skin wrinkles.

Dr. Lorena Barboza. Dermatologist

I am Dr. Lorena Barboza, Dermatologist and I work at the Corium Dermatology clinic and at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

Next I am going to explain one of the issues that worries us most when it comes to exposing our skin to the sun; the appearance of wrinkles and the well-known Photoaging.

Beneficial and harmful effects of the sun on our skin

The sun has beneficial effects on people. It is essential for the correct absorption of Vitamin D and to fix calcium in our bones, and it also improves mood due to the production of endorphins; However, to obtain these benefits we only need to expose ourselves 2-3 days a week, between 5-30 minutes, depending on the phototype (color) of the skin, and around 20% of our body surface (arms and/or legs per person). example)o)

But in large doses, the effects of Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are harmful to the skin both in the short and medium term. One of the most visible effects is premature skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles, also called photoaging. When solar radiation passes through our skin, free radicals are generated that alter essential elements of our skin such as collagen and elastin fibers, causing thinning of the skin, loss of volume and elasticity.

an ishocking real case of photoaging in a part of the face In this photograph, we can see how a 69-year-old truck driver who for 28 years has received the sun's radiation through the window on half of his face, has clearly more aged skin in this part.

This case has been published by the England Journal of Medicine as an example of so-called unilateral dermatoheliosis.

My tips to prepare your skin before, during and after sun exposure

  1. Before sun exposure it is very important that you prepair your skin well against solar radiation. Therefore, it is necessary that you apply a sunscreen about 30 minutes before exposing yourself. Spread the protector all over your body (be careful with your feet, the back of your neck, your lips, your ears or your neckline) until the product has perfectly penetrated all of your skin. Ideally, the sunscreen should have 50+ protection against UVA, UVB and HVE (blue light).
  2. When you are already sunbathing or your skin is exposed, you see repeating the application of the photoprotector at least every 2 hours. Remember that the hours from 11:00-16:00 are the worst since ultraviolet rays are most dangerous for your skin. I recommend that you avoid direct sun exposure, and seek shade, although you must remember that even if you are in the shade you must apply sunscreen. It is advisable that you carry water or fruit with you to help prevent dehydration, as well as being able to cover yourself with some type of hat or visor. As for children, I also recommend that their skin be protected with clothing with UPF 50+ (t-shirt, swimsuit, hat
  3. Once sun exposure is over and your skin is clean and dry again, I recommend Apply a moisturizing cream to avoid redness or burns. This step is also very important for children and older people.

Masderm sunscreen Sunmas SPF50 It is a very good option to protect, care for and hydrate your skin from solar and digital rays. Its natural ingredients maximize the effectiveness of its application and it is also absorbed quickly, has a light and non-greasy texture without leaving the skin with white residue.

6 negative effects on the skin after sun exposure

  1. Spots caused by the sun. The skin reacts to sun exposure, stimulating the creation of a dark pigment called melanin, which gives rise to natural protection against the sun and what we know as tanned skin. But when the creation of melanin is uncontrolled and uneven, different types of spots appear on the skin, including melasma (mask of pregnancy) or gouty or guttate hypomelanosis (small white spots scattered on the legs and arms).).
  2. Sun allergy. Sun allergy is a set of skin reactions such as: Redness, swelling, itching and red spots that appear on the chest, shoulders, arms and legs. This reaction is known as polymorphic light eruption. If you suffer from this type of reaction when exposed to the sun, it is important to adopt good practices such as wearing a hat, sunglasses and clothing that covers the most exposed parts.
  3. Sun burn. UV rays can alter the chemical bonds of our DNA which triggers an inflammatory process in the deep layers of the skin. The blood vessels dilate, the skin turns red, the nerve fibers become sensitive, causing sensitivity and pain. It is considered that a first degree burn on the skin is equivalent to a sunburn. It is very important to remember that the skin has memory and accumulates the negative effects of sunburn over time, increasing the risk by up to 80%. possibility of suffering from skin cancerel
  4. Acne caused by the sun. There is a belief that the sun dries out oily skin and improves acne, but that is only true in the short term. A rebound effect will appear after a few days, the sun can cause an increase in keratin production and follicular clogging (comedones) in addition to causing an imbalance in your skin's protective bacterial flora (microbiome and microbiota), increasing harmful bacteria and It can trigger an inflammatory response in your skin, favoring the mechanisms that cause acne.é.
  5. Photosensitivity. Some medications, such as doxycycline (an antibiotic), isotretinoin (a medication for severe acne), and certain anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, cause the skin to become very sensitive to the sun with reactions very similar to sunburn.
  6. Cold sores caused by the sun. UV rays reduce the activity of white blood cells, which are those immune cells that protect us from some viruses such as cold sores. If you frequently suffer from herpes simplex, it is important that you use lip balm with sunscreen.

Risk of skin cancer after prolonged exposure to the sun

In Spain, 4,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year and the risk of developing skin cancer is 1/1001. Our way of life has changed in recent years: longer vacations in sunnier destinations, outdoor activities and artificial tanning. which explains the increase in the number of skin cancers.el.

There are several types of skin cancers related to the sun, the most common of which are:

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma or "rodent ulcer" is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears in older people who have had considerable exposure to the sun over the years. The good news is that basal cell carcinoma has a very high chance of a complete recovery, because it is slow growing and does not tend to spread to other parts of the body, as is the case with other cancers. Treatment is through surgical removal of the lesion or with treatments such as topical chemotherapy, laser, liquid nitrogen.

Squamous or squamous cell carcinoma

It is the second most common, and is characterized by lesions with keratin/scales, and would be the progression of actinic keratoses. Just like the previous one, it is more common in photo-exposed areas and on the lips (mouth). In most cases, surgical removal is sufficient, but in more severe cases, removal of affected lymph nodes or radiotherapy may be necessary.


Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and can develop at any age. It is more common in people with lighter phototypes and people with many moles, although anyone can suffer from melanoma. It is a cancer in the skin's pigment-producing cells, melanocytes. Sometimes it takes the shape of a mole. To detect it, we suggest you follow the ABCDE rule. If you want to know more about the ABCDE rule and melanoma, click here

  • A for asymmetrical;
  • B with irregular edges;
  • C for different colors;
  • D diameter more than 6mm;
  • E for evolution.

The prognosis of melanoma depends on the size of the tumor, its thickness and whether the skin covering it has been broken/ulcerated. If detected early, the prognosis is usually favorable. The first step in the treatment of melanoma is the removal of the tumor and checking the spread of the disease. With the analysis of the melanoma, the most appropriate treatment is decided, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and "biological" treatments (antibodies directed ).

Frequent questions

¿What is SPF?

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rates the effectiveness of a sunscreen in blocking UVB rays. For optimal protection against UVB rays, dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF 30+ or ​​an SPF 50+. EU-approved broad-spectrum sunscreens also provide protection against UVA rays and will include the term "UVA" inside a circle on their packaging. Make sure your sunscreen protects you from even the longest UVA rays.

¿What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays??

There are different types of ultraviolet radiation. UVB rays provide a visible tan and also cause sunburn. On the other hand, UVA rays are an invisible threat because you do not notice their effects immediately, but, in the long term, UVA rays cause skin aging. UVA rays, like UVB, are the main suspects in causing many skin cancers.

¿What exactly does a sunscreen do??

Sunscreens contain sun filters that absorb the energy of UV rays to prevent them from penetrating the skin and causing injury. The packaging indicates the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), dermatologists recommend SPF 50+ to guarantee maximum protection against the sun's rays.

¿What is blue light and how does it affect me??

There are many types of radiation around us, some we do not see (like radio waves) and others are visible (like light). Light is a small part of visible radiation. It has been shown that excess blue light causes fatigue, visual fatigue and, in the medium term, aging of our skin.

¿Clouds or glass protect from the sun?

No, even if the day is cloudy or rainy, the skin is exposed to UV rays, which cause photoaging to appear gradually. The glasses also do not protect from the sun. To fully protect your skin, use sunscreen daily.

¿What you should remember?

The sun is mainly responsible for skin aging. Protect your skin every day of the year with a 50+ photoprotector. Frequently check spots to avoid skin cancer and visit the dermatologist once a year.


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