The sun loves us. It warms us, helps us synthesize vitamin D, lifts our mood, grows our food, and generally gives us life.
And we love the sun right back. After a long, cold winter, we love feeling the sun's rays on our skin.
But without the proper protection, your sun-worshipping could lead to mixed feelings.
Sunburns, wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer are the dark side of time in the sun.
90% of the signs of aging are from sun damage. This damage undermines the health of our skin as well.
So now that summer is over, let's discuss: was your skin damaged by the sun this year?
Whether you were going for that golden tan, forgot your sunscreen, or neglected to reapply, the effects of too much sun are the same. They are also the same no matter what shade your skin is. If you’re fair, the damage happens faster, but everyone’s skin is damaged by the sun.
I know, I know. You’ll do better next time. But is there anything you can do NOW to mitigate the damage that happened over the summer?
Here are some things that you can do to help with sun-damaged skin:
- Use a Vitamin C serum - like DewDrops - in the morning after you cleanse your face. Its antioxidant superpowers will help scavenge free radicals from the sun, pollution, and blue light. Use it consistently and over time, you’ll see an improvement in the sun damage.
- Stay away from physical exfoliants (beads or rough fragments can further damage skin and dry it out). Use a gentle, clean washcloth once a day to help remove dead skin cells and even out skin tone.
- Use a nourishing moisturizer - like SunUp, SunDown, and/or RainDrops - to help heal the skin barrier and retain moisture in your skin. Bonus: moisturized skin looks smoother and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is diminished.
- Try a retinol product like GloDrops. Retinol products are the “gold standard” of repairing sun damage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. They work by increasing collagen production and cell regeneration. Remember to start slowly when beginning to use retinol products and allow at least 3-6 months to see the results.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and veggies. Research done by the American Academy of Dermatology has suggested that a diet rich in plants and vitamins can help the body repair UV damage from the sun. It’s good for your overall health too, so why not? There are also supplements that have shown some promise, too, like niacinamide, astaxanthin, and omega 3-rich oils that may help your skin deal with sun damage. Stay tuned for more information.
- Keep using your sunscreen daily. The sun might not be as strong as it was in midsummer, but it still can damage your skin.
While Fall is a great time to begin to repair the damage of the sun, don't forget that sun damage can happen any day of the year, whether it’s the middle of summer or the depths of winter. Wear your sun protection every day. Prevention is the key. Some of the visible damage can be softened, but the deep cellular changes -- not so much.