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Premature skin ageing is the early onset of the visible signs of ageing, such as loss of firmness, fines lines and wrinkles, brought on or exaggerated by either genetic or environmental factors. We can reduce the effects of premature ageing by protecting our skin from environmental aggressors.

The cause

What causes premature ageing?

Premature skin ageing is influenced by both, intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which accumulate over a period of time leading to changes in the skin’s 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. Studies show that 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.  Fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and loss of skin elasticity are all signs of free radical damage.

Major Extrinsic Ageing Factors That Can Cause Oxidative Stress

Extrinsic Factors that cause oxidative stress

To learn how best to protect our skin from premature ageing, it is important to firstly understand the role that extrinsic factors play.

Sunscreens with a minimum rating of SPF 30+ protection are essential when protecting our skin against 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.

SPF Protection is not enough

The use of sunscreen alone doesn’t 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. Antioxidants can provide protection from our environment that sunscreens can’t. For this reason, it’s integral that we use both broad-spectrum sunscreens AND antioxidants when protecting against premature skin ageing. Learn more about antioxidant protection with Ultraceuticals Global Education Ambassador, Tracey Beeby.

Defence Duo

Defence Duo

To prevent premature skin ageing, a dual approach is crucial. Use the Ultra Protective Antioxidant Complex as your daily environmental protection, along with daily sun protection for the ultimate defence against premature ageing.

Key Ingredients spotlight - UltraAntioxdantComplex


Caffeine is a potent free radical scavenger and there isnowevidence that suggests coffee is one of the richest sources of healthy antioxidants in the average person’s diet.


Caffeine is a potent free radical scavenger and there isnowevidence that suggests coffee is one of the richest sources of healthy antioxidants in the average person’s diet.


Ferulic acid is an oil soluble antioxidant that 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

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

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