Dr. Annette Turenne, your skin and beauty specialist


The shocking photo that reveals the damage the sun does to your face: This man was a trucker for 28 years... guess which side of his face was to the window
By James Titcomb PUBLISHED:08:01 GMT, 2 June 2012| UPDATED:09:14 GMT, 2 June 2012

Danger: The ageing effect was caused by UVA rays, which are used in tanning beds

This man is 69 years old, but one half of his face looks far older, due to years of sun damage to his left side.

The unnamed man spent 28 years driving a truck, meaning he was far more exposed to the sun's rays coming through the window on the left of his vehicle as he drove.

The shocking difference between the two sides of his face shows the dramatic premature ageing effect that sunshine can have on the skin. Scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago studied the damage to the trucker's face.

The condition, known as unilateral dermatoheliosis, or photoageing, is caused by the sun's UVA rays and results in thickening and wrinkling of the skin.

UVA rays, which are responsible for the tanning effect caused by the colouring of skin pigments, are the most common form of light rays, and are prevalent in tanning booths, which produce doses 12 times stronger than the sun's.

Unlike the UVB rays most commonly associated with skin cancer and sunburn, UVA rays can penetrate glass such as the trucker's window and are present even on cloudy days.

Although UVA light was previously believed to be relatively safe compared to UVB - resulting in ranges of sunscreens that blocked only UVB - recent research and the university study have shown that skin cancer can be caused by both types.

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COMMENT FROM DR.TURENNE: During my consultations, when I am reviewing a patient's photograph, I often find evidence of increased wrinkling and sagging on the driving side (or passenger side, whichever is more frequent). This article shows how small amounts of UVA exposure, over time, increases ageing of the skin.

It only takes 10 sessions in a tanning bed to equal 1 year of premature ageing.

Dermatologists recommend wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Most sunscreens in make-up and lotions are inadequate. Make-up or moisturizers with sunscreen of SPF 15, after application, may only give an SPF of 2, with no UVA protection

At TurennEsthetics, we carry a variety of Sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection.

  • Replenishing Sun block SPF 36,  
  • Advanced Anti-Photo Ageing SPF 50+,   
  • Jane Iredale Make-up products.