3 Products to Treat Sun Damaged Skin
If you’ve ever sat out in the sun for a little too long and didn’t re-apply sunscreen, you’ve done damage to your skin. You’re probably thinking that ‘just that one time’ was ok, but over the years it builds up. Whilst getting more sleep, stressing less, and eating well are all important for our health, if you’ve started to notice more fine lines and dark spots appearing on your face, they’re from the sun not from your lifestyle or diet. 80% of visible ageing is caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, not by ageing itself.
What is Sunburn?
Sunburn does two of the worst things you could possibly do to your skin. Not only is it a physical sign that you’ve damaged the DNA of your skin cells, but you’ve also made your skin age quicker and look older.
“Sunlight contains invisible radiation in the form of harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV). When your skin isn’t protected by sunscreen, your causing genetic damage to your cells and those damaged areas will age more rapidly, develop wrinkles and most importantly you will have a much higher risk of skin cancer,” explains ageing scientist Professor Derek Richard.
Sun damage is not just about sunburn, rather its inflammation caused by the long-term damage you’ve exposed your skin too every time you had sunburn or went out in the sun without applying sunscreen. There are many signs of sun damaged skin including:
- Dry Skin
- Drooping aka less elasticity
- Dark spots aka hyperpigmentation
- Solar Keratosis
- Skin cancers
If you find yourself with any of the above signs, try these three products to help minimise and repair your sun damaged skin.
#1 Use a Serum
Not only does prolonged exposure to the sun cause your skin to dry, but it also causes the melanin in your skin to clump, which shows on your skin as flat brown or black spots which are more commonly called hyperpigmentation. Serums are targeted treatments that contain high percentages of active ingredient to treat specific skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation and dry skin. Look for serums containing Niacinamide, it’s a great ingredient for sun damaged skin that helps repair and improve the skin’s barrier function. It also helps minimise dark spots and hyperpigmentation as it works by blocking the pigment from the surface of the outer layer of skin and decreases pigment production.
“Niacinamide is a really important component of the DNA repair that our cells and skin do every day and is broken down into a compound called NAD+. As we get older, our NAD+ levels drop, and we start to see the signs of ageing in our skin” explains Professor Richard.
#2 Products with Retinol
UV rays can break down collagen and elastin, the two proteins that keep skin looking firm and smooth. To iron out the wrinkles and provide your skin with a boost of collagen, Vitamin A is the go-to ingredient. Vitamin A derivatives help fade pigmentation by increasing cell turnover in the epidermal layer. Vitamin A increases your skin’s sensitivity to sun so apply it at night and always follow with a sunscreen if using it during the day. When using Vitamin A it’s important to gradually increase your usage from every third night, to nightly use, allowing your skin to get used to it.
Intensive Night Repair with Vitamin A
The sun can make hyperpigmentation worse, so you need to protect your skin to avoid even darker marks being left on your skin.
You don’t need to coat your face in a thick layer of pink or white zinc to be sun safe, look for moisturisers that incorporate a SPF 15 or above. There are so many options now for products that include sunscreen, and a lot are targeting for specific skin types such as dry skin, sensitive skin, oily and acne prone skin and even those with anti-ageing benefits. Most importantly always choose sunscreens that are reef safe and do not contain the ingredient, Oxybenzone.