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 –
Fine Lines & Wrinkles
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.