Sunlight feels amazing on your skin but too much sunlight affects your skin quality and can cause skin damage even during the winters. Even if the sun feels mild, your skin will have to face the UV rays. Over time, the UV rays cause sunburns of various degrees, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and darkening of the skin. While sunlight is an essential part of life, and not all damage is reversible, there are steps to undo some of the damage.
Sunburn, or ‘pink skin’ is a sign of sun-damage. However, the harm begins a lot before. Over time, sunburns and sunspots can lead to cellular damage which is irreversible and may lead to skin cancer or severe skin conditions. So, how to deal with sun damaged skin?
We have always heard that we need to use sunscreen all the time, even when we are indoors , on cloudy days and during winters.. But, in truth, sunscreen is just one of the steps.
Step 1: Using sunscreen
There are a lot of benefits of using sunscreen daily, even some that we aren’t even aware of. Let’s understand how sunscreens work-
- Studies have shown that using sunscreen regularly reduces the chance of DNA damage. Sunlight can cause cancer, pre-aging, and other skin disorders too. Using good sunscreen will lessen the chances significantly.
- Too much sunlight causes hyperpigmentation and blotchy skin. Sunscreen reduces the redness, irritation, and discoloration. It soothes irritated skin and can have a cooling effect depending on the ingredients.
- Sunscreen can keep crow's feet, fine lines, and all other ageing signs at bay if used regularly. Long exposure to the sun triggers premature ageing, which then leads to dead skin cells.
- People with sensitive skin can get sunburns, infections, and itchiness quickly. Sunscreens with a high SPF would keep these issues away.
Sunscreen isn’t the only sun protection that’s available to us. There are various other ways to reverse sun-damaged skin.
Step 2: Wearing The Right Clothing
In addition to wearing a sunscreen, covering up is a good idea, but it doesn’t keep away the UV-rays completely. However, it does reduce the intensity a lot. Long sleeves, scarves, sunglasses, hats, and thick clothes are worth being considered.Avoid dark coloured clothing as they absorb more heat.
Step 3: Ingredients to use in your skincare to reverse the damage
- Vitamin A & Vitamin C: Both these vitamins help with skin cell turnover. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that can slow down skin ageing. You can either take them orally or use creams & serums, including a Vitamin-C Sunscreen.
- Retinoids: They lighten the dark and brown spots caused by harsh sunlight. They can help with pigmentation, even blemishes, and stinging.
- AHAs: LikeGlycolic Acid, Lactic acid are important in removing damaged cells from skin, help is reducing pigmentation to prevent further spread.
- Azelaic Acid: Works by lightening dark spots caused by sun exposure by slowing down the production of melanin.
- Niacinamide :Acts as an anti oxidantand decreases redness, blotchiness & hyperpigmentation
Step 4: Skincare routine for sun-damaged skin
- Sun-damaged skin looks dull and dead. Using a brightening serum& cleanser in your regime is a great start. AHA and BHA are great dead skin exfoliators. They remove the dead cells with efficiency so new healthier cells can replace them.
- Vitamin C can correct the blemishes on the skin the UV rays have already caused while strengthening your natural protective barrier. It also boosts collagen.
- Moisturiser is a must for sun-damaged skin. Use a lightweight moisturiser that has Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, or Ceramides in it. They are an excellent source of natural moisture and help repair the skin barrier too .
- Corrective serums that have Lactic acid, L-ascorbic acids, and Vitamin E can help with healing and repairingthe skin
Step 5: Protect from within
- Eat Almonds, Sunflower seeds, and Hazelnuts which are rich in Vitamin E. It helps build your skin’s strength back up.
- Green leafy vegetables, berries, green tea and other nuts provide various nutrients and minerals to improve overall health.
- Oral supplements rich in vitamins A, C, D and K may help in maintaining healthy levels of vitamins due to deficient diets.
Sunlight has a lot of harmful effects on the skin, but sunscreen is only a small portion of the routine. You can use the ingredients we have mentioned to reduce the damage to a maximum level. Hanging out at the beach and chilling under the sun is great, but all that time is going to speed up ageing rapidly. If you don’tuse sunscreen, it is a good time to start now, even if you spend most of your time indoors. Stay protected!