What Causes Premature Skin Aging?

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Premature skin ageing is influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors which accumulate over a period of time leading to changes in skin structure, function and appearance.Intrinsic ageing (also known as biological ageing) is caused by factors that are mostly out of our control such as genetics, DNA and metabolism.

Extrinsic ageing (also known as environmental ageing) is caused by external factors. It has been reported that over 80% of premature skin ageing is attributed to environmental aggressors that we can control such as UV radiation, smoking, air pollution, diet, stress and sleep deprivation. 

Damage to skin from all types of extrinsic ageing has a common cause known as oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress refers to the damage and imbalance caused to the skin by highly reactive, unstable oxygen-based molecules called ‘free radicals’. 

Free radicals cause damage to our skin cells including their DNA. This damage accumulates and expresses itself visibly as signs of ageing including fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and loss of skin elasticity.

Major Extrinsic Ageing Factors That Can Cause Oxidative Stress

Understanding the key role that extrinsic factors cause in premature skin ageing is integral for us to learn how to best protect against it. Sunscreens with a minimum rating of SPF 30+ protection are essential when protecting against the sun’s harmful UV radiation. Sunscreens should be ‘broad spectrum’ meaning they will protect against UVA and UVB rays and should be worn daily as part of any basic skincare regimen.

Sunscreens do not provide enough protection against free radicals, meaning they don’t protect totally against UV generated free radicals and other environmental aggressors such as cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Antioxidants Are Critical!

Antioxidants can provide added defence against oxidative stress and work by helping to reduce toxic free radicals before damage occurs. Therefore antioxidants can provide protection from our environment that sunscreens cannot. For this reason it is integral that we use both broad spectrum sunscreens AND antioxidants when protecting against premature skin ageing.

Key Antioxidant Ingredients

Silymarin (Milk Thistle) has been shown to significantly inhibit UVB-induced oxidative stress and provide protection against UVB-induced carcinogenesis.

antioxidant skin care

Caffeine is a potent free radical scavenger. There is now evidence suggesting that coffee is one of the richest sources of healthy antioxidants in the average person’s diet.

Ferulic Acid is an oil-soluble antioxidant, Ferulic Acid is found in leaves and seeds of all plants and in especially high concentrations in the brans of grasses such as oats, rice and wheat.

Provitamin C helps reduce the appearance of mild to advanced photoageing. 

Defence Duo


To prevent premature skin ageing, a dual approach is crucial. The Ultra Protective Antioxidant Complex as your daily environmental protection is the perfect partner to your daily sun protection as the ultimate defence against premature ageing.



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