It’s impossible to resist the allure of soaking up the sun’s rays in the summer. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some fun in the sun, as long as you follow the proper sun protection guidelines. However, even if you don’t sunbathe, spending time outdoors when the sun is shining means exposure to UVA and UVB radiation. Too much sun exposure over the course of one day can manifest as dry skin, redness, skin that feels hot, and even sunburn. Over a lifetime, excessive sun exposure can lead to sun damage and premature signs of aging. As scary as this sounds, there are solutions for treating over-exposure to the sun and restoring your skin to a healthier, more youthful-looking state, including aesthetic treatments that reduce signs of sun damage.
To understand the aesthetic effects of sun damage, it helps to understand the two types of UV radiation mentioned above: UVA and UVB. These rays carry ultraviolet (UV) photons that are invisible to the naked eye but can cause damage to the skin, beginning on the surface and extending deep below.
UVB photons are absorbed by the epidermis, where they excite molecules in the skin. To release the absorbed energy, skin’s molecules begin to warp via chemical reactions, resulting in the development of sun spots, melasma, a burn, or worse.
UVA photons, on the other hand, penetrate deeper into the skin, causing damage to elastin and collagen proteins, which are two essential building blocks for smooth, firm skin. Over time, this results in the molecular breakdown and death of skin cells, which your skin will eventually be unable to keep up with.
The effects of sun exposure without proper sun protection accumulate over the course of a lifetime and can lead to signs of sun damage and premature aging such as dark spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone and texture.
Applying proper sun protection is the best way to protect your skin from sun damage. Sunscreen that contains an SPF of 30 or higher is the best way to protect skin from the signs of sun damage—and other risks, including skin cancer, as well. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapplying every few hours, and more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
To boost your protection factor, consider using both a physical and chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens most commonly contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, creating a physical barrier that reflects dangerous UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals that protect the skin by interacting with and absorbing ultraviolet energy. Both are effective alone, but they work even better when used in combination.
Here are a few essentials for taking care of your skin after sun exposure or sunburn.
Drink more water. The heat and a more active lifestyle are to blame for why it’s easier to get dehydrated in the summer months. Up your water intake to keep your skin happy, and to stay healthy and energized for all your summertime activities.
Skip retinol before sun exposure. Planning to head to the beach? Then try to avoid using retinol or retinoids beforehand, as these products make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. It’s also wise to skip chemical exfoliants in this case, too.
Add aloe vera to your routine. Soothe your skin and support barrier repair by applying a product with aloe vera and healing peptides afterward. Peptides and aloe both help to keep skin hydrated and soothed, as well.
Hydrate with hyaluronic acid. If your skin is dehydrated, make a point of adding in a serum or other product that contains hyaluronic acid. This powerful ingredient attracts and seals in moisture, keeping your skin plump and hydrated through any heatwave.
Treat sunburns right away. The best thing to do once you notice a sunburn is to avoid further exposure. Apply a cold compress to soothe the area and immediate symptoms or burning or redness. Stay hydrated, and keep the sunburnt area clean and protected with a light, oil-free moisturizer.
Our state-of-the-art medical aesthetic treatments address over-exposure to the sun and signs of sun damage from all angles.
Sun damage may manifest in the skin as sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. These issues can be addressed with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial technology with our Venus Versa™ device. Photofacial treatments kickstart the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin, clear up sun damage, slow down the appearance of aging, and restore your skin to a brighter, more radiant complexion.
Venus Glow™ facial renewal treatments both cleanse and hydrate skin. The device opens up and deep-clean pores, removing dirt and impurities to reveal a refreshed, radiant complexion. Enhanced with Venus Glow Serums™, the treatment evolves into a two-step process for superior pore cleansing and customized facial renewal. Formulated with naturally-derived botanical and marine ingredients, the serum effectively reaches into the depth of the pore, allowing for enhanced nutrient absorption to protect, hydrate, and nourish the skin. The serums can boost the skin’s protective barrier to bar against further sun damage, and also treat signs of photoaging by brightening sun spots and hyperpigmentation.
Collagen and elastin are the two essential building blocks for having firm, youthful skin. One of the consequences of sun damage is a decrease in the production of these two key elements. Venus Legacy™ wrinkle reduction and skin tightening treatments use advanced Radio Frequency energy to boost your skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin. The treatments address fine lines and even the deeper wrinkles that can appear in the skin due to cumulative sun exposure, while also effectively smoothing and tightening the skin for a firmer, line-free complexion.
Give your skin some love this summer! To find a provider of our leading medical aesthetic treatments near you, use the search field below.
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