Oh, That Summer Sun: Prevent and Reverse Existing Sun Damage
We sure love that summer sun. Days at the beach, afternoons at the pool, what’s not to love? Unfortunately for our skin, sun damage is the leading cause of aging skin, leading to wrinkles, roughness, sagginess and brown spots. There is good news though: new treatments and products can help reverse some of that damage incurred while having fun in the sun. Plus, we can use products to help minimize sun damage. Follow these easy steps to reverse damage done and to prevent future damage.
To treat past sun damage and the resulting wrinkles and sagginess, try retinol or retinoid tretinoin, the prescription-strength version, which is stimulates collagen production and speeds up skin cells’ natural exfoliation process. This can reduce wrinkles and reverse some sagginess. You can either visit the dermatologist for a retinoid prescription or try with an over-the-counter retinol available at department stores and drug stores.
After spending time in the sun you may see brown spots dotting your face. But these aren’t cute freckles; these are excess melanin your skin produced to try to protect itself from the sun. The solution? Use a cream or serum with kojic acid, a natural botanical acid. This natural ingredient evens your complexion without the side effects from lightening agents like hydroquinone.
Prevent future skin damage by always wearing a broad-based sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This also allows your skin time to heal and allows your immune system to repair existing damage. Reapply regularly and check expiration dates, since sunscreens lose skin protection effectiveness after two years.
And lastly, but importantly: Drink up! And we mean water, not margaritas. It’s especially important to increase your water intake during summer months, since the sun—including incidental sun exposure while driving or walking in and out of buildings—can dry out your skin. Moisturize from the inside out with water.