Is skin aging completely out of our control?

What do you think about this comment, made by (Dermatologist) Sam Shuster back in 2005? I've always believed UV exposure directly affected how quickly the skin thins (collagen loss), but he is suggesting this is false? Would appreciate your thoughts (Shuster's comments follow): "The fundamental defect of skin ageing is loss of collagen, the skin's main constituent, which is why ageing skin thins. The loss is one per cent a year throughout adult life and is equal in men and women. The reason female skin appears to age faster than male is that women have less skin collagen. This unfair difference is equivalent to 15 years of ageing! The loss of collagen with age is genetic; it has absolutely nothing to do with UV irradiation and occurs equally in skin that has spent its life covered or exposed. And, contrary to the advertising blurb for anti-ageing creams - which simply irritate the skin producing inflammation that swells the skin and conceals the wrinkles - nothing is known that reverses this loss of collagen. Ageing of the skin is not due to UV and it cannot be overcome by the products of the cosmetic industry."

Interesting but he’s just not right. There are now literally hundreds of studies proving him wrong. All I have to do is to look at the skin of my patients who spent hours in tanning booths or frying themselves on beaches for years to know he’s wrong.


Sun damage caused by UV radiation is also the primary cause of skin cancers and precancerous lesions. Most of us need only to look at the quality of  our non sun exposed skin and our sun exposed skin to see the difference. One of my professors used to tell us to look at our grandmother’s derriere if we had any doubts. I’m not sure I’d go that far and it could be seen as disrespectful to grandma!


Also, how would he explain the fact that many women these days are looking better than their husbands and brothers! 🙂 Learn more about anti-aging and wrinkles products and live the changes in past 20 years!


Dr. I


See Dr. Irwin’s recommendations on the best anti aging skin care and the best anti aging products.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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