Along with smoking and sugar consumption, the sun’s rays are considered to be one of the leading causes of premature aging. This is because the sun radiates invisible ultraviolet light, commonly known as UV rays. The two types of UV rays that you should be concerned about in terms of on your skin are UV A & UV B rays.
While both have the ability to affect your skin, they are slightly different in terms of the damage that they can cause. UV A rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin and cause signs of aging inclusive of pigmentation issues and wrinkles, while UV B rays mostly reach the epidermis (top layers of the skin), and are linked to redness and sunburns, among other things.
If you’re looking to prevent and/or help reverse damage caused by UV radiation, consider exploring some anti-aging treatments as well as adopting an effective skincare routine.
Steps to Take to Prevent Sun Damage
The best way to protect your skin against damage caused by the sun’s rays is to (obviously), avoid the sun completely. Seeing as that isn’t a realistic option for most individuals, the next best thing is to try and avoid the sun when it’s at it strongest - between the hours of 12 and 4 pm.
Other preventative measures you can take include seeking out the shade and applying a sunscreen. Insofar as sunscreen is concerned, your best bet for keeping your skin protected is to look for a ‘Broad Spectrum’ sunscreen, which are only available in the EU & the US (at least for those that offer protection against 90% of UV rays on the UV spectrum).
Broad Spectrum sunscreen is your new best friend!
When using sunscreen, two good rules to keep mind are: reapply every 2 hours if you’re continuously exposed to sunlight (or after contact with water); and, apply more than you think you need – it’s recommended to use at least1/4 teaspoon or more of sunscreen just on your face!
In terms of your skincare routine, to help repair sun-damaged skin you should be using 3 key ingredients: Retinol, Alpha Hydroxyl Acidsand Vitamin C. Retinol (a derivative of Vitamin A), is important for increasing cellular regeneration and also helps with overall skin rejuvenation. Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s), including Lactic and Glycolic Acid, exfoliate the epidermis to reveal the fresh, smooth layers beneath. Finally, antioxidant serums with Vitamin C help boost the protection benefits of your sunscreen and are perfect for use during the day.
Our Anti-Aging Serum contains Green Tea Extract – another powerful antioxidant that can be used to boost the effects of sun protection agents.
DIY Anti-aging Treatments
Among the diverse range of anti-aging treatments out there, two of the most popular for reversing sun damage are LED Light Therapy and Microdermabrasion. As treatments with professionals can be costly and time consuming, at-home devices are a good alternative for reparative efforts.
Not all rays are damaging. In fact, some are the opposite – they actually help with preventative anti-aging!
By penetrating deep within the layers of the skin, the rays from LED Light therapy help improve clarity as well as combat signs of aging, such as: lines, sun spots caused by UV exposure and uneven tone in general.
Three important colors of light you should be on the look-out for are: red (linked to boosting collagen levels), amber (helps calm inflamed skin) and infrared (which not only goes the deepest but also helps boost the abilities of the other LED rays. Our UV-free RejuvaliteMD is an FDA-cleared device that has all of the above frequencies of light and only needs two 5-minute treatments daily in order to be effective.
An equally effective anti-aging treatment, Microdermabrasion targets aging concerns by physically removing dead cells on the epidermis, revealing brighter skin and helping restore radiance.
The anti-aging benefits of microdermabrasion include: allowing you to focus on areas where you need treatment the most (like age-spots); little-to-no recovery time; and, as a bonus, it’s surprisingly gentle.
Our at-home microdermabrasion device, the MicrodermMD, offers advanced results with 8 different settings. If that seems overwhelming, the device has an LCD display with an auto-mode feature that simplifies the whole experience.
All of this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice day outside, but in order to minimize damage, make sure to apply (and reapply) that sunscreen and wear protective clothing as well as sunglasses.
Until the day when science has progressed to the stage where you can actually turn back the hands of time, a combination of good skincare products and effective treatments are the best way to help repair sun damage.
Updated May, 2020