Expert Advice

Signs of Skin Damage

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Identifying skin damage can be quite a challenge. Whether it’s the aftermath of acne battles, the effects of sun exposure, or the delicate imprints of aging – your skin has a unique language of its own.

That’s why we’ve put together an in-depth guide to help you to decipher the signs of skin damage and understand your skin’s needs.

What Causes Skin Damage?

Each day, your skin encounters a multitude of internal and external factors that can cause damage at a molecular (e.g. DNA), cellular and structural level to the different layers of the skin Internal triggers may be hereditary or stem from things like the natural aging process, stress or hormones

On the other hand, external triggers include exposure to environmental aggressors, such as the most common culprit – UV rays from the sun.

Without adequate protection against external triggers, your skin becomes vulnerable to cellular damage and a reduction in key supporting constituents such as lipids and water, leading to premature signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Protecting your complexion is key to preserving its youthful vitality for as long as possible.

What are the Different Signs of Skin Damage?

Skin damage can manifest in various ways, and recognizing the signs is essential for addressing and treating the underlying issues.

Skin damage caused by over-exposure to the sun is an escalating issue. This happens when the skin encounters UV rays, which can cause dryness, redness, and cellular damage.

Some of the most common internal and external signs of skin damage include:


Dull, dry, and rough skin can be an easy way to identify skin damage – especially if you don’t usually experience dryness. This is due to the lack of moisture and oils within the skin barrier.

Increased Sensitivity

Exposure to environmental factors like pollution or something as simple as a change in temperature can break down the skin’s barrier, heightening sensitivity, discomfort, and irritation.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Another sign of skin damage that is easily identifiable is the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. This type of skin damage can sometimes be due to excess sun exposure or persistent dehydration but will also occur during the natural aging process due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.

Thread Veins

Multiple environmental and internal triggers including aging, genetics, hormonal changes, smoking, and sun exposure can result in thread veins. This happens when the blood vessels weaken and begin to resemble varicose veins and give your skin a red-mottled appearance.


Sunspots including hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone are signs of skin damage – all caused by the overproduction of melanin when exposed to UV rays.

How to Protect Skin from Sun Damage

If you’re seeking strategies to prevent skin damage, we advise avoiding excessive sun exposure during peak times (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and instead seek shade and cover up with clothing to reduce overall sun exposure — this is true all year round, not just in the summer.

This is especially important if you’re going to be around snow, water, sand or concrete, as all of these reflect light, making sunburn more likely. Our final top tip would be to cover up where possible and introduce a long-lasting to your routine.


We have a wide range of SPFs for all skin types, so find the perfect one for you here:

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Now you know the signs of skin damage and the best way to protect yourself. Although it may not be completely possible, check out our blog for advice on how to repair signs of skin damage. We reveal all the techniques and show you how our newest line, Future Renew, helps you get your skin’s appearance back on track.

No7 Beauty

No7 Beauty

Writer and expert