We love bright sun, salt in our hair, and sand in our feet. What comes along with it is sun damaged skin that takes us ages to heal. But to lessen your summer vacation worries, we are here to tell you all what you must know. It can be quite a process to get rid of that burnt and tanned, toasty skin but you will get over it if you focus on the basic needs of the skin. Know with us how the sun ages your skin and how to heal your sun damaged skin.
How does the sun damage your skin?
We’ve all heard about how quick sun rays are to damage the skin. What we don’t know is how it damages our skin and what are the supporting factors due to which the skin is vulnerable to damage by anything and everything including UV rays.
Our skin can easily be damaged by UV rays even if it is at its healthiest stage. To protect our skin from damage, our body produces a brown pigment called melanin that forms like a protective layer before any more damage can occur. This is how you end up tanned and burnt. If your body does not produce enough melanin then you might not turn brown but you will end up burnt.
When the sun rays hit your skin, it first attacks the cellular matter in the cell. To protect your cell, your body will produce melanin but if that does not cut, you will end up losing the moisture that keeps your cells young. So now your cells are deflated and dehydrated which is why you will find your skin dulling, wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, etc. This is also called photoaging or solar damage.
If the sun rays attack the genetic material present in the cell then it will mutate your genes and lead to cancerous growth. How would you know that the sun has damaged your skin and up to what extent? The best bet is by visiting a dermatologist but we have a few points to throw in which may come in handy on some very bright sunny day
What are the outcomes of sun damage and how to detect them?
If your skin is damaged due to the sun then you will see certain visible changes to your skin. Let’s discuss what are these changes and how to detect them-
Our skin cells contain moisture that helps in the smooth functioning of the cells. Without moisture, our skin cells will shrink. This also means that the cells will die. So if your skin is dehydrated then dullness comes complimentary with it.
How to detect: Darkened complexion and flaky skin.
2. Fine lines, wrinkles
UV rays can deform the structure of your skin cells. The easiest way to look older is by sunbathing. No cells of your body can withstand the UV rays. Fine lines and wrinkles form when the cells have no moisture or barrier to protect them. Once the cell structure is deformed, then it takes longer to heal.
Learn how to figure out if there are fine lines or wrinkles here.
How to detect: Visible depressions in the skin texture which could be seen as fine lines, enhanced laugh lines, crow’s feet, etc.
3. Enlarged pores
When there is depletion in collagen production, the cell will lose its ability to maintain its structure. Collagen helps to maintain the structure and as you age its production depletes which leads to visible pores, wrinkles, etc. It is unrealistic to want to vanish the appearance of pores but one can reduce the size of the pores by keeping the skin hydrated and providing enough protein and collagen to build cells.
Learn more about enlarged pores here.
How to detect: Open pores visible as dots on the skin.
4. Pigmentation & Dullness
Your body has its own defence mechanism when it detects harmful substances. Just like that when UV rays fall on your skin, your body forms pigment that can cover that area and protect it from UV rays entering the skin cells. However, getting rid of this pigmentation can take ages. If your skin has a weak skin barrier then it gets even easier for the UV rays to enter your skin which is what triggers hyperpigmentation. UV rays also kill the cells which dull your face.
Learn about hyperpigmentation here.
How to detect: Visible brown patches, freckles, darkening of the skin colour.
5. Broken capillaries
Our skin near the eyes, mouth, lips, and around the nose is thinner than the rest of our face. When UV rays hit this thin skin, they can do easy kills here. So your blood vessels can break easily under this skin. It goes without saying that it is easier to see the darkening of the skin under the eyes, around the nose, lips, etc.
How to detect: Visible purple, green or red lines around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
How to heal from sun damage?
It is said that prevention is better than cure and this is very much applicable when it comes to UV rays damage. However, while hustling like a bawse if you end up catching the sun then we know how to repair your skin-
1. Soothe your skin
The heat has dehydrated your skin and caused an inflammatory response. Inflammatory response includes producing melanin too. This is why you have tanned and red skin after sunburn. To reduce this, instantly soothe your skin. Ingredients like Aloe Vera, Rosewater, Chamomile, Green tea, and ice can instantly soothe your skin. You can just press a cold, used bag of Green tea/Chamomile tea or use Aloe gel as a face pack. You can also pack ice chips in a muslin cloth and press it on your skin to instantly soothe it.
We recommend House Of Beauty ICE Roller. Fits well for travel. All you need to do is keep it in the refrigerator and roll it once you come back home!
2. Focus on night healing
Your skin cells have had enough of the climate mess. All it needs is some regenerative concoction that can aid the skin to produce enough collagen and generate skin cells. Opt for something that can Peptides, Collagen, and low concentration of Vitamin C to brighten and plump up your skin. One start ingredient that can really heal your skin is Centella Asiatica aka. Cica. Cica goes well with most of the active ingredients and hence you must find a night serum that has Centella Asiatica as a part of it. You can also pick a Centella Asiatica-based sleeping mask so that your skin wakes up happy and healed.
We recommend Rovectin Skin Essentials Cica Care Sleeping Pack. This is the sleeping mask that can legit help you wake up with hydrated and glowy skin.
Yes, please. To heal your sun-damaged skin, the bare minimum you need is a moisturiser. A good moisturiser for sun-damaged skin is something that has Hyaluronic acid, Ceramides, Peptides, Centella Asiatica, etc. Moisturisers keep up with the skin barrier which is so very important to shun the sun. About 50% of your barrier is Ceramides and hence, a good moisturiser with Ceramides can strengthen your skin.
We recommend Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream. It has Ceramides and Jojoba oil to nourish the skin barrier and moisturise your skin.
4. Laser treatment
Laser treatment can regenerate skin cells which helps to treat fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and enlarged pores. Laser treatment has proven to be a blessing even to treat broken blood vessels. And the cherry on the top is that it helps to treat any genetic damage that would have been caused due to UV rays hence preventing skin cancer.
To heal your skin from sun damage, you need to wear a higher SPF in the daytime. Yeah, sure some of us still look at sunscreen as just a preventive measure but it is more than that. It protects your skin and that is what you need every single day. Period. Be it cloudy, rainy, snowy, windy, or sunny, you need sunscreen and there cannot be any argument on this. While you come back home and try to heal your skin, remember that none of it will work if you don’t use sunscreen the next day.
Learn more about sunscreen here.
We recommend Skinvest Sunny Side Up Mineral Sunscreen. It is a mineral sunscreen that leaves no white cast. Also, it has Niacinamide, Vitamin E, Centella Asiatica to heal and nourish your skin. Block the sun while nourishing your skin? Yes, please!
How to prevent sun damage?
One should always aim to protect the skin from sun rather than treating the sun damage. We are a big believer of doing everything we can to stay away from the UV rays and we have some tips to disperse-
1. Physically block the sun
Yes, think of sun rays as fire. And use every trick in the books to protect yourself from this fire. If you work in the sun day-in-day-out then use a hat, scarf, or even carry an umbrella. Whatever is convenient for you to carry. It’s preferred to wear white and good cotton clothes so that it does not absorb the heat. Don’t mistake physical blockers to be enough to block the sun rays. You still need sunscreen. These are just additional efforts that you must take to keep your relationship with the skin healthy.
2. Wear sunscreen
Obviously. If you’re not convinced yet, can we go on saying how sunscreen absorbs harmful rays that can make a 20-year-old look like 40? Yeah, it helps you prevent early ageing, hyperpigmentation, dullness, tanning, etc. If you love happy skin and you pray for healthy skin every day then sunscreen is your answer.
Sun-damaged skin can be treated by simply focusing on soothing, healing, and moisturising your skin. Stick to the basics- Moisturiser and sunscreen everyday to protect your skin from the sun. If there is one note that we want to pass you to achieve healthy skin is that slather sunscreen every single day of your life.