Summer is finally in full swing. From pool parties to beach days to barbecues, it’s safe to say that summer means spending time outside. Soaking up the sun is part of what makes summer so much fun.
For many of us, those sunny summer days epitomize the carefree, joyful nature of the season. Unfortunately, just like everything in life, summer has both pros and cons. On the one hand, being outdoors in the summer heat is essential for so many fun summer activities. On the other hand, if you’re not properly protected, the sun’s rays may do some serious damage.
Indeed, the sun’s effect on our skin is nothing to laugh at. If you know anything about skincare, you know just how important it is to protect ourselves against the sun’s UV rays in various ways (for example, wearing sunscreen every single day).
However, no matter how hard you try to completely shield yourself from sun damage, sometimes that goal is just not viable. Most of us have been overexposed to the sun’s rays at some point in our lives, and our skin has suffered because of it. If you’re struggling to deal with your sun-damaged skin, just know that you are not alone.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a comprehensive guide to everything you should know about sun damage. What is sun damage, and how can you prevent it? Moreover, can you reverse sun damage?
Hopefully, this guide will help you enjoy your summer to the fullest extent while still taking care of your skin as much as possible. We won’t keep you waiting any longer—let’s get into it!
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What Is Sun Damage, and What Does It Look Like?
Let’s start from the very beginning: what is sun damage, exactly? Frankly, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Basically, it’s any form of skin damage caused by the sun.
For dermatologists, sun damage goes by many names: photoaging, photodamage, solar damage, and sun damage. These terms all refer to the same thing: the reaction that occurs when ultraviolet (UV) rays infiltrate the skin and cause our DNA to change at a deep, cellular level. It’s pretty intense.
You’re probably familiar with the most immediate way that the sun harms our skin—that is, sunburn. Of course, sunburn typically arises quickly and fades after a week or two. The form of sun damage that we’re discussing today has effects that are far more long-lasting.
In the long run, sun damage manifests itself in several ways. These include wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, decreased elasticity of the skin, redness, blotchiness, and an uneven skin texture. Sun damage may even lead to more serious issues—namely, skin cancer.
It’s very clear that the sun’s UV rays have the potential to cause very serious harm. That is why it is so important to be educated about this topic.
How Can You Treat Sun Damage?
As we have already mentioned, most people will experience some degree of sun damage in their lives. For many of us, symptoms like wrinkling and hyperpigmentation leave us wondering about one thing: can you reverse sun damage?
Well, the answer is complicated. As you know by now, sun damage presents itself in a variety of symptoms. Some of these are somewhat reversible, while others are basically permanent. Likewise, while there are certain skin issues that you can never fully undo, there are plenty of methods to lessen or treat them.
So, we’ve put together a short list of the various forms of sun damage and how to treat them. Read on for all of our best tips:
We all know what it feels like to get a bad sunburn. Your skin turns red and splotchy, and the affected area is painful to the touch. Getting a sunburn is never fun.
Sadly, there aren’t many options that will genuinely speed up the healing process. It just takes time and patience. Eventually, your skin should return to its normal state.
If you’re looking to ease the pain, be sure to stock up on moisturizing products like aloe vera. Likewise, make sure to avoid exfoliation on the burnt area. Moreover, be sure to use minimal makeup and a gentle application technique so you don’t cause further irritation or pain.
Sun exposure causes the skin to lose moisture and appear dry and dull. That’s why, after a long day in the sun, you may notice patches of dry, rough skin.
The best way to treat this issue is to exfoliate regularly using a gentle exfoliator. Then, be sure to moisturize with a hydrating lotion. Finally, incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine is a great way to keep your skin cells healthy and hydrated. Ingredients like vitamin C and E may help repair sun-damaged cells.
Wrinkles are one of the most pervasive skin issues that arise from sun damage. Treating or reversing wrinkles is often difficult, but it’s not impossible.
There are many ways to lessen the appearance of wrinkles. For example, adding a retinoid to your regular skincare regimen is an excellent way to increase your collagen levels and keep your skin looking youthful and smooth.
Likewise, you may want to opt for treatment from a dermatologist. These treatments include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy. Be sure to visit your dermatologist for an expert opinion on whether these treatments would be suitable for you.
Dark Spots or Hyperpigmentation
This is another sun-induced skin issue that causes plenty of problems. Dark spots, sometimes referred to as hyperpigmentation, occur when your body over-produces melanin in order to protect your skin.
You have several methods to choose from when it comes to fading dark spots. Just as with wrinkles, using retinoids is an effective way to combat this issue. Retinoids help your body produce new skin cells and shed the old ones.
Likewise, there are plenty of natural ingredients and superfoods that seem to be tailor-made for fading dark spots. For example, turmeric is packed with antioxidants, which gives it powerful healing properties.
Our Vitamin C Clay Mask is full of superfoods, including turmeric, kakadu plum, desert lime, aloe vera, and more. This means that it’s highly effective for fading dark spots and restoring an even skin tone. Plus, it helps reduce other skin issues, like inflammation and acne. All in all, it has everything you could want in a clay mask.
Final Thoughts on Sun Damage
Sun damage is a serious issue, and it should be treated as such. While many of the symptoms of sun damage are semi-reversible, you should certainly continue to take proactive measures against sun damage. This means always wearing sunscreen, avoiding direct exposure to the sun, and staying away from tanning booths.
Taking action to protect yourself against the sun’s UV rays is truly the best way to avoid the irritating, harmful skin issues that we’ve discussed above. However, if you do face one of these issues someday, we hope that this article will help you treat those issues effectively.
Don’t let sun damage get in the way of a fun-filled summer.
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