YIKES. That was my initial reaction upon laying eyes on this startling image – what could have happened for the two sides of this man’s face to have aged at such wildly different rates?? This picture was sent around via email to all of us here at Tata Harper Skincare and after gasping and gawking and reading the accompanying info, the take-home message was hammered home: wear. sunscreen. every. day.
At the time that this (completely unaltered) photograph was taken, this gentleman was 69 years old and had been a truck driver for the majority of 30 years, spending the most of every day in the driver’s seat with, you guessed it, the sun beating down on the left side of his body while the right side was in the shade.
Specifically, his skin has been affected by UVA rays that blast straight through car windows, which have caused unilateral dermatoheliosis, a condition resulting in “thickening of the epidermis and stratum corneum, as well as destruction of elastin fibers” from UVA overexposure (info from this report from the New England Journal of Medicine).
Summary: sun exposure speeds up the skin’s aging process, by causing thickening, wrinkling, sagging, a breaking down of fibers and tension, and spots. Broad-spectrum sunscreen will greatly delay this process and should be worn every day and reapplied ever 2 hours. And yes, we know, you’ve been hearing this rant your whole life, from your mothers and teachers and in magazine articles and in blog posts like these. BUT, this picture is visual proof of what a difference protection from the sun can make – especially on long summer drives!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.