While we often look to our mothers to see how we’ll look in 25 years, DNA accounts for only 20% of visible skin aging. Our environment and daily habits are responsible for a whopping 80%—of which the sun is the largest contributor.
In fact, much of what if often dismissed as “normal aging”—dull skin, uneven skin tone, sunspots, brown spots and eventually age spots—are actually evidence of sun damage. These are also all factors that cause you to look older than you feel; a 2006 study showed that pigmentation on skin can change your perceived age by as much as 20 years.
The takeaway? Before you jump to an anti-aging solution, start by addressing the visible signs of sun damage. Much of what you might not love about your appearance is reversible with the right skincare products.