It’s so tempting isn’t it, to bask in the sun as soon as it starts to creep through after what seems like an age of winter. It’s human nature to want to absorb those rays and the vitamin D that the sun produces can offer health-giving benefits. However, sun-damage is a risk not only to our health, but to our skin and can make us look older than our years. Sun-damage comes in several guises from crêpey, dry and dehydrated skin, to deep set lines and wrinkles, skin sagging and pigmented areas such as sun-spots and deep freckles.
It’s also a myth that if the sun isn’t shining that you’re not getting exposed to harmful UVA rays. Even on the cloudiest day, if you can see daylight, you’re being exposed. So, it’s important to be aware of your skin every day and not just when the sun is shining.
I see some people as young as 25 with sun-damage, especially if they don’t keep out of the midday sun and don’t protect their skin with a high factor SPF. Visible brown patches start to appear on the face, chest and hands and they might notice that their skin isn’t as ‘elastic’ as it once was. This is because UV light damages elastin fibres within the skin, causing it to wrinkle and sag. Melanin within the skin is also produced (to protect it from burning). This causes pigment to appear, either in the form of a tan or small to medium, uneven shaped tan or brown marks on the skin.
I get asked a lot “how can you protect your skin from sun-damage”? And what to do it is already there? At my clinics, Skin Perfection in the heart of the West End of London, we are experts in helping you get your skin in optimum health and superb condition, with all the knowledge you need to stay safe but enjoy the sunshine and let it benefit, not damage your skin.
My top tips
Firstly, always wear an SPF30 or above and re-apply every couple of hours when in strong sunlight. Your main skincare saviour should always be an SPF, even on cloudy days. Select cosmetics that offer UV protection as well as containing vitamin C, A and E and this will help your skin get all the nourishment and protection it needs.
Wearing sunglasses with total UV protection will protect the delicate skin around your eyes so you can ward off crow’s feet and laughter lines. Wearing wide-brimmed hats at sunny times will also physically shield your face from those damaging rays and preserve your looks.
Avoid strong sunlight in the summer. Between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm is when the sun is at its strongest and most damaging. Not only will this sunlight dehydrate and damage your skin, but it could leave you with nasty burns and other side-effects, such as sun-stroke.
Performing regular skin checks is vital so that you can get to know your skin and notice any changes in moles or skin tags. Changes in colour, shape or texture could all be warning signs of something more sinister. If in doubt, get your GP or one of our skin specialists to run a check on your moles and skin tags.
Avoid sunbeds! Although tempting to get that ‘just been on holiday’ glow, these are never good for your skin. The light emitted by sunbeds is just as damaging, dehydrating and youth zapping for your skin. Use a fake tan or have a spray tan instead. Your skin will thank you for it.
At Skin Perfection, we know all there is to know about treating sun-damage. To obtain the best possible results for your concern, it’s a good idea to come and have a no-obligation consultation so we can assess your individual concern and create a bespoke treatment plan for your skin.
We offer a wide-range of in-clinic treatments to reduce the signs of sun-damage effectively and to resurface, revitalise and restructure the skin. We can also provide advice and skincare solutions to use at home so that you can continue our good work at home!
- Laser skin resurfacing – using selected light waves to penetrate the skin and reduce lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and skin laxity.
- Medical-grade peels and resurfacers – using fruit and sugar acids to slough away damaged or dead skin cells, pigmentation and to reduce lines and wrinkles.
- Medical microneedling – using tiny pins to pierce the skin and encourage a healing response, medical microneedling helps to resurrect sagging, wrinkled and dehydrated, sun-damaged skin by encouraging the skin to produce new collagen and elastin within the dermis.
Treatment may be one or more of the above and all treatments listed can be used either alone or combined as part of a holistic approach to your sun-damaged skin.
For more information on sun-damage and how you can treat your skin and avoid future faux-pas in the sun, why not contact my team of skin experts today? Book a no-obligation consultation and skin assessment with us.