Unprotected UV exposure damages skin cell DNA, breaks down collagen and elastin, and triggers dark spot formulation. In fact, sun damage can account for up to 80% of all visible signs of aging.
It’s also the primary cause of crepey skin. As board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Divya Shokeen, M.D., FAAD, tells us, it’s most often triggered by excessive sun exposure, especially if crepey skin starts to show up in your 20s or 30s. Shokeen notes crepey skin starting in your mid-20s is more often caused by notable tanning bed use or aggressive, unprotected sun exposure (i.e., regular sunbathing without SPF).
“Over time, aggressive or excessive exposure to the sun breaks down elastin in your skin. Elastin usually has the ability to stretch and recoil, but with repeated sun damage, it loses the ability to heal properly and so remains stretched. This laxity leads to the appearance of lax or crepey skin,” Shokeen explains.
This fix is easy: Wear sunscreen and utilize protective accessories (i.e., UFP clothing, hats, and sunglasses), especially when outdoors during peak sunshine hours. For help finding a sunscreen that suits your needs, check out our all-time favorite natural sunscreens.