How To Reverse The Effects of Sun Damage

During summer we often get exposed to UV radiation for long periods of time, forgo sunscreen once or twice or skip steps like using serum. All of these factors contribute to the appearance of damaged skin like dark spots and deep wrinkles. These symptoms may start becoming visible as early as in your twenties.

With summer coming to an end, it's time to start thinking about how to repair the harm caused by the intense summer rays. Although you can't completely reverse the damage, there are definitely some steps you can take to heal your skin and put yourself on the road to recovery.

What Is Sun Damage?

Sun damage is not something that just happens to people that lay on the beach all day or work outdoors. Getting sunburned a few times during your childhood can be enough to cause visible harm to your skin in later years. But sunburn isn’t the only type of damage.

Sun damage can appear in many forms, including dry skin, deep wrinkles or thickening of the skin’s texture. Over time UV rays break down the elastin fibers, and the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. In addition to accelerating the aging process, UV rays can also have a negative effect on your skin's tone and pigment.

How To Repair Your Skin

While you can’t entirely undo the cellular changes caused by UV radiation, you can take steps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sunspots and sagging skin. Many of the skin care products available in the market promise to repair damaged skin, but only some do properly target the effects of sun damage.

1. Go Beyond Aesthetic Fixes

Add a good serum to your skin repair regime. Serums have the ability to absorb into and penetrate deeper layers, making way for smoother, firmer skin.

Some serums can help remove dark spots with lightening or brightening ingredients like Vitamin C. However, they generally don't address any cellular damage unless they also contain a high concentrations of active ingredients like retinoids and niacinamide.

Niacinamide, known as Vitamin B3, has been shown to enhance the repair of UV damaged DNA and reduce UV induced immune suppression, a leading cause of skin cancer.

2. Use Retinoids The Right Way

When it comes to reversing the effects of sun damage, there’s no skin care ingredient as potent as retinoids. Topical retinoids help repair skin cells by promoting the development of new collagen and elastic tissue, as well as evening out pigmentation and smoothing fine wrinkles to give your skin a more youthful appearance.

There are some down sides to using retinoids like skin irritation and photo-sensitivity. However, you can overcome these by using effective natural antioxidants like Bakuchiol. This ingredient has been proved to significantly reduce photo-damage within 12 weeks of use, without the usual retinol therapy-associated undesirable effects.

3. Hydrate Your Skin

Summer exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt water can dry out your skin severely and contribute to the appearance of wrinkles. Moisturizers help improve both the appearance and feel of dry, sun damaged skin by rehydrating the epidermis.

Moisturizers use active ingredients to restore and maintain moisture in the skin. Look for moisturizers that contain occlusive agents like coconut oil. These ingredients help create a thin layer on the skin that slows the rate in which moisture evaporates.

Also keep an eye out for humectants like glycerin. Humectants draw water from the air into the skin's outer layer. When combined with occlusive agents, they form a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss, dryness and scaling.

4. Try A Face Mask

You can also rely on DIY solutions like natural antioxidant face masks to help repair the damaged caused by the sun. You can make your own mask at home using natural antioxidants like green tea, and ingredients with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties like Manuka honey, and apply it directly onto your face and neck.

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"Skincare science needs to be on the very edge of social change and evolution in order to succeed."

Dr. Mark Gray