Over the course of a year, I was able to photograph people from all over the world, to watch, in ultraviolet, how skin ages.
What's striking is how early the effects of overexposure to UV can be seen.
These UV freckles are mostly not visible to the naked eye, until they become really dark, at which point they show through even the outer skin. They're like dead pixels, a sign that the skin's ability to handle UV has become overwhelmed, and that the underlying collagen is taking damage. That's not to say that freckles aren't cute - they totally can be! - just as smile lines and greying temples can be cute. But they are a sign that the skin's ability to defend itself has maxed out.
What seems clear to me is that any UV protection - whether it's genetic, from having naturally good, dark skin - or by wearing a hat - or by wearing sunscreen - will slow the process of ageing.
This video was paid for by Nivea Sun. My previous video, How The Sun Sees You, was not by or for any business. But as a result of that video, I started working with Nivea, whose ethics I find easily the most laudable in this sector. This video represents the lessons we learned from a year of looking at skin, namely: UV freckling starts much earlier than we thought; freckling is strongly correlated with loss of skin elasticity; skin that freckles easily ages much faster; all these things are totally controllable with extra protection from UV.
What all this means is to illustrate the words of Mary Schmich in Baz Luhrmann's 1999 single Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen): "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it."