Cutaneous ageing signs of sun damaged skin become visible from as early as the twenties, especially with excessive sun or environmental exposure.

Sun-damaged skin is associated with a range of cosmetic concerns - from pigmentation problems and splotchy skin to redness due to enlarged vessels or capillaries, all causing discolouration of the skin. Photo ageing caused by ultraviolet light exposure tends to act more on the surface of the skin. There are sun freckles or irregular pigmentation and dilated blood vessels (often referred to as "broken" blood vessels) that lead to an overall uneven tone and discolouration.

Cutaneous ageing signs of sun-damaged skin become visible from as early as the twenties, especially with excessive sun or environmental exposure. However, between the ages of 35 to 49 years, there is a sharp increase in the prevalence of skin changes clearly ascribable to photo-ageing such as pigmented spots and sun-damaged skin. Awareness of the damaging effect of UV radiation on facial appearance and sun avoidance and protection before the age of twenty will help reduce the risks for developing sun damaged skin later in life.

Ageing skin and sun-damaged skin unsettles women more than men; because society believes a woman loses her attractiveness once visible signs of facial ageing set in. Characteristics of facial sun-damaged skin include fine and coarse wrinkle formation, pigmentation changes, sallow colour, dry texture, loss of elasticity, loss of skin tone, sagging subcutaneous tissues, underlying muscle hypertrophy and volume loss in the face and decollete.

How does sun exposure age our skin?

Without protection from the sun's rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.

The skin ages when the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) begins to thin, causing the junction with the dermis (outer layer) to flatten. Sun-damaged skin has a thicker epidermis, which is "dead" and irregular. There is increased water loss from the skin and a decrease of the sebaceous glands, which provides natural moisture to the skin. More abnormal cells accumulate in aged skin, especially if there is chronic sun damage, which can lead to pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.

Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. The sun also attacks our elastin. Sun-damaged skin also causes chronic inflammation of the skin and an increase of elastin that clusters into thick bundles called solar elastosis. Collagen decreases as we age and the bundles of collagen, which gives the skin turgor, become looser and lose strength.

People with fair skin who have a history of sun exposure develop more signs of sun damage than those with dark skin. In people of colour, the signs of sun damage are usually limited to fine wrinkles, a mottled complexion and sagging of the mid-face leading to under-eye bags.

The degree of sun damage as classified by Glogau:

1. Mild (age 28-35 years): Few wrinkles, no actinic keratosis (tender red dry spots), requires little or no make-up.

2. Moderate (age 35-50 years): Early wrinkling, sallow complexion with early actinic keratosis( tender red dry spots), requires little make-up.

3. Advanced (age 50-60 years): Persistent wrinkling, discolouration of the skin with telangiectasia and actinic keratosis( tender red dry spots), always wear make-up.

4. Severe (age 65-70 years): Severe wrinkling, photo ageing, gravitational and dynamic forces affecting the skin, actinic keratosis ( tender red dry spots) with or without skin cancer, wears makeup with poor coverage.

Home therapies:

At Skin Renewal, we offer traditional topical home therapies such as AHAs, PHAs, growth factors and peptides, as well as recent advances in pigmentation technology, such as Enlighten by Neostrata.

Skin Renewal is proud to be the stockists of award-winning product brands specializing in scientifically proven cosmeceutical skincare for pigmentation:

In-Office therapies:

At Skin Renewal with the introduction of photorejuvenation treatments and exfoliation treatments such as Limelight™, RF Skin Needling, Cosmelan & Dermamelan by Mesoestetic, TCA and our own 3D peel, virtually any patient can be a candidate for improving sun-damaged skin, depending on the area and the skin type. As each patient's case is different; we will tailor a treatment program specifically for you and your circumstances. A highly professional team led by a medical doctor assesses every patient and an appropriate combination treatment together with long term maintenance program is recommended. The new concept today is to start with photo rejuvenation devices early so as to prevent the deterioration of skin colour and texture as one gets older.

If we can treat sun-damaged skin at an earlier age and stimulate the growth of new collagen, we might actually slow down the ageing process significantly. This allows us to have healthier, better-looking skin later on in life, during our golden years. Perhaps even more promising is the idea that treating skin with ablative lasers earlier on in the ageing process-at around age 30-40 may actually slow or prevent the skin from breaking down and appearing wrinkled and saggy later on in life. In addition, it has been clinically proven that after ablative laser treatments, there is a significant decrease in the level of p53 expression in biopsies obtained 3 months after treatment compared with baseline. By decreasing p53 expression with ablative lasers, there may be the prevention of actinic neoplasia or skin cancers which are caused by excessive sun exposure.

Skin Renewal Tip

Badly sun-damaged facial skin with deep, ingrained wrinkles is a challenging condition to treat. Any non-ablative treatment modality on its own cannot make a big difference. Ingrained facial wrinkles have different forms and grades and success at combating these needs a combination of treatments that include dermal filler rejuvenation, laser rejuvenation with Laser Genesis, Carboxytherapy and injection Mesotherapy. After treatment with an injectable filler, a combination of Laser Genesis and Titan is the treatment of choice to treat more advanced facial wrinkling issues. This procedure is done one to two weeks after a filler procedure and is repeated every 2 to 3 months for a total of 6 - 8 treatments for optimal results.


See all reviews
*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -I am Impressed
Reviewed on 27 July 2018 by Anonymous

Excellent treatment that I have received. I will definitely come back for more. I am impressed.

Review -Sublime experience!
Reviewed on 27 July 2018 by Rachel

What a sublime experience! Kathrine is very experienced at massage. Will definetly be back.

Review -Deep Bliss!
Reviewed on 27 July 2018 by Theresa Brown

So amazing to drop into my body and feel so at ease. Deeply blissful experience. Thank you

Review -Removing Sundamage
Reviewed on 25 July 2018 by Helette Westraad

I've been to the Cape Quarter Branch and got treated by Megan for Sundamage on my chest area. It's only a few hours later and I can already see something hapening! I cant wait to see the result:)

Review -Have a nice day
Reviewed on 26 March 2018 by David Van Der Merwe

Friendly, Professional, always with a smile, perfect telephone etiquette. Very calm atmosphere and the most important: The treatment actually work.

Review -Thanks for a warm and relaxing environment
Reviewed on 22 December 2017 by Leonie Lombard

Thanks Ladies for such a warm and inviting experience this morning! Dr Sattar made the experience very relaxing and the ladies in reception are amazing. Will definitely be back soon.

Review -Outstanding service by an outstanding therapist, Nicky Capula!
Reviewed on 10 November 2017 by Clara Esposito

Although there is often some pain involved, I absolutely love seeing Nicky at Skin Renewal! She is very knowledgeable, competent and professional. The bonus is that she has a great personality too, including her honesty. The best therapist by far! Thanks so much, Nicky!

Review -Excellent service, always flexible, professional
Reviewed on 16 November 2015 by D. S.

Excellent service, always flexible to adjust to my schedule, very professional, thorough, amazing attention to detail, deep knowledge of skin conditions & treatments, valuable advice on solutions/improvements. Overall great attention to client needs, Angelique is a true professional & expert in her area.

Review -Wonderful service with Nicola!
Reviewed on 8 September 2014 by Anonymous

Nicola provides wonderful service. She is very informative about the various treatment and products.

Review -My first time...
Reviewed on 4 September 2014 by Janine Da Costa

As with any procedure, one is always apprehensive- this all vanished immediately as Liezel took me through and explained the procedure thoroughly. She was so gentle and pleasant! Thank you for a great first session.

Sharon Izak Elaine Chat staff ) WhatsApp