close up of sunburnt skin with allergic reaction

5 Tips to Stop and Reverse Sun Damage

When your adorable little freckles start to turn into large tell-tale brown spots, you’ll begin to wish you’d lathered up with and SPF 60 rather than that ‘Super Dark Brazilian Bronze’ Lotion to protect from sun damage. But don’t worry it’s not too late to save your skin!

These 5 tips and treatments will help prevent any future sun damage, and although there is no time machine to take you back to those beach days, these tips can help reduce, and even remove sun spots. It’ll almost be like you hadn’t passed out on the beach lounger in Mexico, except that your friends will never let you forget it.

sun damage from a sunburn
Step 1: Apply Sunscreen To Protect From Sun Damage

Since sun damage is accumulative it is never too late to start a sun protection regime – like using sunscreen. If you remember from my earlier post about sunscreen you know that even when the sun isn’t shining there are still harmful UV rays causing damage to your skin, meaning that it is important to protect your skin all year round. By reducing your daily sun exposure, sunscreen allows your skin time to heal and your immune system the chance to repair some existing damage. Not to mention reducing your risk of skin cancer. So slap on some sunscreen and apply generously.

Step 2: Use Antioxidants

Another way to prevent sun damage, and even help brighten your skin tone is by adding a powerful antioxidant, such as pure Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) to your skin care regime. Antioxidants fight against free radicals that cause sun damage to your healthy cells. Layering a potent antioxidant underneath your sun screen can help to boost your SPF, giving you more protection.

Also, antioxidants work to speed up cellular repair improving the overall tone and appearance of your skin. They will help to stimulate collagen preventing fine lines and wrinkles, soften sun spots, and give the skin a healthy glow. Vitamin C is found in a lot of daily anti-aging creams and lotions, but if you’re finding that’s not enough try adding a serum, like Vivier CE Peptide serum.

Step 3: Try A Skin Product To Fight Sun Damage To Your Skin

If you’re a little late on the first two steps, and the damage has already been done, there are many products available for lightening dark spots caused by sun exposure. One of the most effective skin lightening ingredients is a hydroquinone (HQ), this is a drug that is very smart and targets only the hyper pigmented cells in the skin, and blocking the process of melanin creation, evening the appearance of the skin.

Other options include products containing kojic acid, arbutin, licorice root, or a cocktail of all three. These ingredients work very similar to HQ, gradually lightening the dark spots. With a topical treatment the results will be gradual, and you can usually expect the pigmentation to reappear in a few months – year, as the lightening ingredients can only penetrate so deep, and the hyper pigmented cells will eventually work their way back up to the surface.

Step 4: Exfoliate Your Skin

When using any sort of skin lightening product, you’ll want to ‘unload’ the pigmentation. You can do so by exfoliating the skin, which will help remove the dead, and damaged cells allowing the healthy cells to work their way to the surface faster. You can use exfoliating scrubs, or acids at home to keep the skin functioning normally, or do an in-office chemical peel or Microdermabrasion at least once a month. This also allows your lightening products to penetrate the skin more easily, meaning they will work harder and faster.

Step 5: Try An Intense Pulsed Light Treatment (IPL)

Looking to rid your skin of sun spots quickly? IPL or Intense Pulsed Light treatments use an intense burst of light energy to stimulate the skin’s cell turnover which causes the hyper pigmented cells to be drawn to the surface, and the spots then flake off through your body’s natural shedding process.

This a fairly quick process. Immediately after the treatment, you will see the dark spots begin to get darker. But don’t worry – over the next few weeks you will see the spots flake away, lasting no longer than a month after treatment.

Because this treatment is drawing cells to the surface, it is normal to have some spots appear that you didn’t see initially. This is because damage has occurred in the deeper layers which have now come to the surface. We usually recommend approximately 1-3 treatments for best results.

It’s not too late for you! Start following these five steps and you’ll be on your way to bright, even, and glowing skin!

About the Author:

Chloe Dobie is the head Laser, and Skin Care specialist at CüR Laser and Skin, where she helps the men and women of Vancouver to rejuvenate their skin, and souls!  Chloe has a passion for learning and is constantly researching new technologies and techniques to improve the results of her clients. Although she hasn’t yet perfected her “miracle perfect skin potion”, Chloe has a lot of great tricks and tips up her sleeve that she loves sharing with her clients to ensure they get the most out of their treatments.

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