We all love the warm, invigorating rays of the sun, but prolonged and unprotected exposure can have detrimental effects on our skin.
Sun damage, also known as photodamage, can cause premature ageing, pigmentation irregularities, and even increase the risk of skin cancer.
So many of our clients come to see us suffering from ‘Sun Worshipper’s Regret’. The historical impact of too much sun worshipping can leave us looking older than we really are. However, there is no need to despair. There is so much we can do to reverse the damage from too much sun!
Understanding Sun Damage
Sun damage occurs due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The two primary types of UV radiation that reach the Earth’s surface are UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, damaging collagen fibres and leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging skin. UVB rays primarily affect the superficial layers of the skin, causing sunburns and contributing to the development of skin cancers.
However, it’s not just sunlight that can damage our skin. HEV light from our phones and computer screens can also de-nature our youthful collagen!
The Effects of Sun Damage
Sun damage can manifest in various ways and significantly impact the skin’s health and appearance. Over time, excessive sun exposure can result in the formation of dark spots, uneven pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin fibres, which provide structure and elasticity to the skin, are gradually degraded, leading to sagging and a loss of firmness.
What can we do to turn back the clock on sun damage?
While prevention is always better than cure, it is possible to reverse some of the effects of sun damage with the right combination of products and treatments;
- Sun Protection: ALWAYS use a High Factor (30+) broad spectrum sunscreen. High quality brands like ZO will offer comprehensive protection from all types of harmful rays. We stock several different formulations so come and find your match! (It is safest to avoid the sun altogether during peak UV hours 10 am to 4 pm).
- Antioxidant protection: Incorporate skincare products with antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, into your routine. These ingredients can help neutralize free radicals caused by sun exposure and stimulate collagen production. ZO and Cellderma are high quality options with powerful andioxidant products such as Daily Power Defense.
- Exfoliation: Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells, revealing healthier skin underneath. Look for gentle exfoliants containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) to improve texture and fade pigmentation such as exfoliating polish or dual action scrub from ZO. (n.b. it is even more important to remember your high factor SPF when using these products)
- Brightening products. The ZO range has some powerful products which can drastically improve sun damage, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Some examples are Retinol Skin Brightener which is available in varying strengths, and Brightalive for a non-retinol alternative.
- Light therapy: IPL is a powerful treatment which tackles uneven pigmentation and sun damage. It can significantly reduce dark spots and brighten uneven pigments.
- Chemical peels: These come in varying strengths and are excellent for general skin rejuvenation as well as tackling sun damage.
Next steps to skin health…
Sun damage can take a toll on our skin’s health and appearance, but with proper care and proactive measures, we can reverse some of its effects.
Taking sun protection seriously, adopting a comprehensive skincare routine, and the right combination of treatments can help restore our skin’s vitality and maintain a youthful complexion for years to come.
Consultations with Dr Hill and our Therapists are free and without obligation. Book online and look forward to healthier, more youthful skin.