sun damage

How to Protect Your Skin from The Sun

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We’re nearing summer and sunshine is about to be in full bloom (especially here in Southern Colorado where we’re known as the “desert of Colorado”. Interesting right?).

 

Now, you won’t find us sun-loving people complaining about warmth and all the adventures that come along with those rays of sunshine (hello, water activities and drinks on the patio).

 

You will, however, find us in the shade, slathering on sunscreen, while talking A LOT about how to protect your skin from the sun.

 

And because May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month – what better time to talk about your skin and protection from the sun?!

 

First up, though, is some cold, hard truths about sun and skin cancer…

 

 

Sun + Skin Cancer

According to the American Academy of Dermatology:  

• 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

• Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.

• Approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer daily.  

• One blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, later in life.

• Nearly, 20 Americans die from melanoma every day.

• UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers.

• Water, snow and sand can reflect and intensify the sun’s damaging rays.

• Even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can reach your skin.

 

We know reading these figures can be a sobering thought, especially when the figures point out that melanoma takes 20 American lives a day.

 

But there’s good news: you can greatly reduce your risk of skin cancer!

(Go ahead and breathe now after reading those statistics).

 

So, how do you reduce your risk of skin cancer?

Good old-fashioned sun protection.

 

 

Before we introduce ways to protect your skin from the sun, we need to talk about the sun and what it CAN do for your body and health…

 

 

The (Healthy) Sun + Vitamin D

 

We’ve discussed the harm that the sun can do to your skin (increased skin cancer risk and even sun damage).

 

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What we haven’t talked about is what the sun (specifically Vitamin D) can do for your overall health.  

 

The sun is essential for Vitamin D production which helps hormone regulation, supports a healthy immune system and builds strong bones (just to name a few perks).

 


So, if we’re constantly protecting ourselves from the sun, how do we get that essential Vitamin D from the sun?

 

According to the National Institutes of Health 

“It has been suggested by some vitamin D researchers, for example, that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis…Individuals with limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet or take a supplement to achieve recommended levels of intake.”

 

Remember, when taking into consideration your relationship to the sun; consider these factors:

• Skin type

• Where you live (how harsh the sun can or cannot be in your area)

• How much sun exposure your skin has had over your lifetime (Sun worshipper? Tanning beds? Rarely use sunscreen?)

 

Yes, your body needs Vitamin D, but it doesn’t need an increased risk in skin cancer or sun damage, therefore, find a happy dance between sun health and sun protection.

 

Ok, speaking of protection…

Here are some of our favorite ways to protect your skin from the sun!

 

 

How to Protect Your Skin from The Sun

 

1.    Cover Up

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We love a powerful sunscreen, but even that chemical barrier can’t block all the sun from your skin.

If you’re down with being covered head-to-toe in protective clothing, go for it!

If that’s not your style, at least opt for a wide-brimmed hat (peace out sun damage), shades and something to cover those areas on your body that sun loves to touch.

 

2.    Be Shady

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The sun is the most powerful during the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so that means, duck and get your shade on.

Having lunch outside? Go for a shaded area, or under an umbrella. Remember that hat you bought to protect you from the sun? Whip it out and be as shady as you need to be!

 


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3.    Know Your Surfaces

Keep in mind it’s not just the surface of the sun that can increase your risk of skin cancer.

Surfaces like water, snow and sand can all reflect the sun’s rays and the next thing you know, you’re wondering how you got a sunburn on a cloudy day at the beach, or a plow down the mountain.

Protect your skin from the sun, snow, sand and water!

 

4.    Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen.

This one is a no-brainer, so here are some extra tips to keep your sunscreen working hard.  

• Don’t forget the areas on your body like lips, hands, feet, ears and neck.

• Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.

• Reapply! Especially after sweating or swimming and typically every two hours.

 

5.    Repeat After Me, “No More Tanning Beds”

Repeat that mantra any time you feel the urge to get in a tanning bed.

Not only does your skin cancer risk increase with tanning beds, but so does the aging process (wrinkles, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, age spots, etc.).

And we want you to look AND feel your best, so drop the tanning bed and if you’re really feeling an itch for tanning; grab a self-tanner and slather away.

 

 

Favorite Sunscreen

 

Obviously, we can’t talk about all things sun and protection without talking about our favorite sunscreen.

 

We’re so grateful for our partnership with ZO® Skin Health because we LOVE offering our clients different options when it comes to sunscreen AND healthy aging.

Below, you’ll find five different options of sunscreen from ZO®.

For easy application, the Sun Spray SPF 50 is a hit and if you’re going for a day look with make-up — the Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 (literally) has you covered.

Need help choosing one? Give us a call (719.423.0083) or stop by Renew and we can help you choose the best sunscreen for you.


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• ZO® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30

• ZO® Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

• ZO® Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 50

• ZO® Daily Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 50  

• ZO® Sun Spray SPF 50

 

 

We know the risk of skin cancer is scary – especially with numbers that say 20 Americans die from melanoma a day (eek!).  

The upside? You have all the power to reduce that risk by protecting yourself from the sun.

 

Ditching tanning beds, covering up with a hat and light layers, seeking the shade as much as possible and using sunscreen consistently when outdoors (even around water, sand and snow) can help your relationship with the sun be as healthy as possible.

 

Because using a hat and looking like a celebrity while doing it is way cooler than sun damage and increasing your risk of skin cancer!



RENEW | 719.423.0083


IPL for Sun Damage

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Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to get rid of that sun damage on your skin — but nothing’s worked?

 

Did you buy the lotions and the serums and work diligently to erase the sun damage – and still – you were left with sun spots, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines/wrinkles and/or melasma?

 

Frustrating, right?

 

We so get that.

 

 

When it comes to a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, there isn’t such a thing.

 

 

One person may achieve glowing results from certain serums and skincare products, while another person may never see the results they’re looking for with that particular regimen.

 

Add to the mix the fact that sun damage – depending on your skin type – is a skin condition that can be difficult to treat.

 

If you’ve been let down by skin care products or regimens promising sun damage help and not living up to that promise – we have an alternative treatment for your sun damaged skin: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).

 

 

What is IPL?

 

As mentioned IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and can also be referred to as a “Photo Facial”. 

 

At RENEW, we use Lumecca™ IPL by InMode, which helps to treat and target skin conditions through selective photothermolysis (also known as laser resurfacing).

 

 

Okay, now that you know what IPL is, let’s take a look at why IPL can be the powerhouse treatment of sun damage…

 

 

IPL Treatment of Sun Damage

 

With skincare, most professionals want to start off slow and/or ease you into treatments for your skin.

 

Sometimes, however, IPL is exactly the skincare tool that’s needed to get in there and treat stubborn sun damage.  

 

IPL treatment can be used for:

• Light and dark skin

• Allows for the potential to treat varying skin types and conditions that could include photo-damage, superficial vessels, rosacea, skin texture and/or facial pigmentation.

 

What to expect from IPL:

1-5 IPL treatments are recommended (around the 3rd treatment is when most patients begin to see results) – with mild downtime around 7-10 days.

 

Keep in mind, post IPL treatment you will notice the pigment (especially the darker/damaged spots) pull to the surface of your skin – that means don’t be shocked if spots on your face look darker in this time period; the IPL treatment is working (but always contact your skincare professional with any concerns and follow-up).

 

Yearly IPL treatments are recommended for maintenance.

 

IPL for sun damage aims to reveal even skin tone, texture and glowing, dewy skin!


In this video Dr. Elijah + Medical Aesthetician, Charmayne Torres-Trujillo demonstrate an IPL treatment, the benefits and how this "photo facial" can help with stubborn sun damage.


To Sum It Up

 

Summer is fun.

Sun damage is not.

 

We feel you, truly.

 

And sometimes, no matter what you’ve done in the past to help erase those dark spots and uneven skin tone, a sun damage ninja is needed: say hello to IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).

 

As always, speak with your skincare professional to make sure IPL is right for you and the best course of action for your skin type.


Resources:

Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash


Looking for a sun damage ninja?

Ready to find out if IPL is right for you?

 

Request an appointment below to get started with Dr. Rochelle Elijah and/or Medical Aesthetician Charmayne Torres-Trujillo – or someone from the RENEW Crew!



Your Guide: Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin

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It’s summertime.

You soak up the sunshine, read your book by the pool, drink that sparkling water…

And watch your sun damaged skin age.

Wait, what? That’s not the story you told yourself going into the sun, did you?

 

You think you’re young, so age is on your side.

You figured by wearing sunscreen you're totally protected.

You tell yourself you’re only out there for a small amount of time, so a little sun won’t matter.

 

Forget what you think right now, I have a guide for you – treatment for sun damaged skin – and everything you need to know.

 

 

Vitamin D & The Causes of Sun Damage

 

You know the sun can definitely cause damage to the skin, but the sun isn’t all sagging skin and wrinkle-inducing.

 

The sun is essential for Vitamin D production. And the body needs Vitamin D for hormone regulation, a healthy immune system and strong bones (just to name a few perks of getting Vitamin D).

 

How much is too much sun?

 

According to the National Institutes of Health

“It has been suggested by some vitamin D researchers, for example, that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis…”

 

Too much sun on the skin = sun damage city. No fun.

 

So, how does this happen?

 

When sun rays penetrate the dermis (where collagen and elasticity live), this is where you’ll see free radicals going crazy and causing damage to your skin.

 

The exact thing that nobody wants for their skin.

 

When understanding your relationship to the sun make sure you take into consideration your skin type, where you live (how harsh the sun can or cannot be in your area) and how much sun your skin has been exposed to over your lifetime (tanning beds, sun worshipper, etc.).

 

Your body needs Vitamin D, but it doesn’t need sun damage and as you can see there’s a fine line of when healthy sun exposure ends, and sun damage begins.

 

 

What Does Sun Damage Look Like?

 

Sun damage is like that sneaky kid at a family dinner.

 

The kid is off somewhere being super quiet, and you think everything is just fine.

No sound, no worries, right?

 

You know better, though. Something is lurking.

Something is building up.

 

And then you see it – a heaping cloud of flour – right before your eyes.

 

How did that kid get flour?

How did I not see this happening?

 

That’s how sun damage works – it sneaks up on you.

 

You sun worship in your teens and 20’s, get hip to skin care and sunscreen in your 30’s and one day that cloud of flour – err, sun damage – explodes right in front of your face.

 

Sun damage usually appears in the form of –

 

  • Sunburn

 

 

 

  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles

 

  • Loose/Sagging Skin

 

 

All things you don’t like to see on your skin, but can appear out of nowhere and overtime.

 

 

Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin

 

In a perfect sun-loving world, the best treatment for sun damaged skin is prevention.

 

Right now (in this moment) and moving forward you can help your skin by limiting sun exposure for your skin type and slathering on that sunscreen like it’s your job.

 

But, don’t worry, even if you haven’t used prevention most of your life for the sun, here are some tips and treatment options for your sun damaged skin –

 

  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) – Powerful intense pulsed light that will treat pigmented and vascular lesions such as age spots, sun damage, spider veins, rosacea, and freckles. After just one treatment you may notice significant improvements in the complexion of your skin. Multiple treatments are recommended.

 

  • ZO® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 – This 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex protects you from photo-damage and UVA, UVB and HEV (high-energy visible) light. This sunscreen + primer can be used with or without makeup and helps smooth your skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

 

  • Hydrate – While you’re chugging down water and counting your ounces of hydration, don’t forget to moisturize externally! We love ZO® Growth Factor Serum for all-around skin rejuvenation and restoration of your skins protective barrier.

 

 

To Sum It Up

 

I know you wouldn’t go looking for sun damage, but if ever you look in the mirror one day and wonder, “Where did these spots and/or fine lines come from all of a sudden?” remember all that time you may have spent in the sun.

 

Stay hydrated, lather on that sunscreen and know your skin type and limit your sun exposure before you even think about spending time in the sun.

 

And if you want to treat sun damage (or prevent it), know there are options out there like IPL, ZO’s Sunscreen + Primer and don’t forget to hydrate internally with water intake and externally with a strong moisturizer.

 

Don’t forget to speak to your favorite skincare professional for the best treatment options that are tailored to your unique skin or request an appointment below and we'd be happy to help you. 

 

Resources 

Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash