How to Reverse UV Damage after Summer is Over
Thoughts of repairing sun damaged skin should not fade from consciousness after your summer glow has faded. ‘Out of site’ should not become ‘out of mind’. What lurks beneath the skin’s surface is not pretty – especially when it comes to ultra violet (UV) damaged skin. In fact, UV damage is cumulative and often takes years to surface as blotchy skin, wrinkles, brown spots and even more serious, life-threatening, conditions like melanoma.
Would you believe that this young, fresh-faced, volunteer below actually has all that sun lurking damage beneath the skin’s surface? Want to see what’s going on below the surface of your skin? A simple UV light will reveal any sun damage waiting to appear (if you can stand to look at it).
Repairing and Reversing Damage
Unless you have been diligent about wearing SPF30+ every day, chances are you have sun damage that needs repairing, even if you can’t see it.
Step 1 – Exfoliate the build-up of dead skin cells to increase cellular turnover which removes the blotchy, uneven skin tone. Effective exfoliating modalities include daily cleansers and a mechanical face brush like Clarisonic; exfoliating washes and scrubs; alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) cleansers; and microdermabrasion treatments from a skincare professional for more drastic results.
Step 2 – Lighten dark spots and patches. Over the counter skin lighteners containing Kojic acid and hydroquinone are quite effective at fading dark spots and Melasma (often called pregnancy mask). Vitamin C treatments are also effective, and for those who like a natural approach, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar applied directly to the dark spots do help fade them. Want more info? Read 6 Ways to Treat Sunspots
Step 3 – Moisturize and hydrate the skin. Look for products with hydrating ingredients like glycerin to lock moisture in and hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its own weight in water to plump up the skin.
Step 4 – Fight sun damaging free radicals with antioxidant-rich creams and serums. Help your skin repair and reverse sun damage with powerful treatments containing anti-aging antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Green Tea, Retinol, Resveratrol, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Pycnogenol, Caffeine, and many more. For more information on the power of antioxidants, read our article Best Antioxidants in Skincare
Step 5 – Strengthen the skin’s barrier which improves cellular turnover, reduces inflammation (which causes aging effects), and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin – both of which are critical to keeping the skin looking youthful. Look for products containing peptides and niacinamide (Vitamin B extract), copper or retinoids. This step does not need to be separated from Step 4 – just look for an anti-aging, skin-rejuvenating product that contains all or most of these qualities.
Step 6 – Try low energy LED treatments at home with a product like Tanda to help promote collagen, minimize fine lines and wrinkles. When used consistently photofacial technology will improve skin condition, fade sun spots, shrink enlarged pores and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. To learn more about LED treatments (also called photo facials) read Photo Facial Treatments at Home