Research Explains Why Skin Appears Leathery With Age

Sun damage does a number on the skin. There’s a reason derms, beauty editors, and researchers alike constantly talk about how important smart sun care is. 

“We don’t want to put a fear factor in here saying ‘don’t go out in the sun, but extended periods of time under UV light can toughen up your skin as well as lead to a higher risk of carcinogenic problems,” says said Binghamton University Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Guy German, Ph.D. 

The first thing is to wear sunscreen everyday. SPF is the number one healthy aging product available, and can help protect your skin from damage, skin disease, and yes, aesthetic changes like “leathery skin.” 

If possible, also be mindful of how you spend time in the sun: Avoid long stretches of time outdoors during peak hours (depending on where you are, this can range from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), use smart accessories like hats and sunglasses, and find shade whenever available. 

You can also encourage healthy collagen production, with a wide variety of skin care steps. As for topical interventions, retinol and vitamin C serums can improve the appearance of the skin. Internally, be sure to eat a diet full of collagen-supporting nutrients and even consider supplementation.

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