Reverse sun damage with these expert tips

The Asian Age.

Life, Fashion

Dermatologists recommend the best way to heal sun damaged skin.

Vitamin C is known for brightening the skin but it would take at least a month to have any real effect on the skin. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)

With summer now over, we are now left with a fading tan probably a whole lot of sun damage. If you have spent a lot of time out in the sun, then it is possible that it would have left your skin peeling, dry and uneven for months after summer ended.

Dermatologists address the number one concern of most people- sun spots. "They can happen even to the best of us who wear sunscreen religiously," said dermatologist Estee Williams, MD. Luckily for us, there are several effective ways of combating sun damage. Here is a list, Refinery29:

Brighten sun spots

Hyperpigmentation is of several types and sun spots are usually caused by spending too much time under the sun without protection. To naturally depend against all the UV rays, the body starts producing extra melanin, resulting in small brown spots. The mostly appear on the areas most frequently exposed to the sunrays, like the face, arms and legs. They tend to fade over the winter as the body doesn’t require melanin as much.

Vitamin C is known for brightening the skin but it would take at least a month to have any real effect on the skin. Regular usage of Vitamin C in your skincare is beneficial. As a quicker solution, dermatologists recommend lasers like IPL (intense pulsed light) which reverse sun damage. This treatment targets white light to the pigmentation to lighten it. "If the background of skin is tan, wait it out until your skin is as close to its base colour before pursuing laser," urged Kenneth Mark.

Treat bad sunburn

Tanned skin is basically damaged skin. "UV light exposure revs up pigment production, so having tanned skin means you have been exposed," said Joshua Zeichner, a New York-based dermatologist. "Even low-grade sun exposure can damage collagen and the DNA of skin cells." Burnt and peeling skin is a sign of your body getting rid of the damaged cells.

Unfortunately, bad skin burns need to heal over time. Stay out of the sun as much as possible, and keep your skin super moisturised. Completely avoid picking on the skin or even exfoliating it. "You can scar the skin by peeling it before it's ready to come off. Just let it shed naturally," said celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. Also, use soft applicators like sponges for you make up, rather than stiff brushes that will further aggravate the skin.

Soothe dry skin

For those who don’t have sensitive skin, sunburn won’t occur and many don’t even get sun spots. But this doesn’t mean that the skin isn’t damaged. Sun expose can dry out your skin, making your complexion look dull overall.

"You want to exfoliate to get rid of the dead layer of skin cells," said Dr Mark.  Opt for chemical exfoliants like lactic acid rather than physical exfoliants. But he also warns against over exfoliation. "If you develop dryness, redness, or inflammation then you definitely need to dial it back," said Dr. Mark. Also adding anti-oxidants like Vitamins C and E can help repair the damaged skin.