Basking in the glow of the afternoon sun as you enjoy an iced drink on your sun lounger is one of the hallmarks of a great holiday. It might be relaxing, but the sun is highly damaging to your skin and could potentially cause premature ageing, sagging skin and wrinkles.
The obvious solution is to stay out of the sun, but it’s understandable that you want to enjoy the sunny holiday that you’ve worked so hard to earn and top up on vitamin D levels, too – so what can you do to keep your skin safe and healthy? Can you reverse sun damage? There are several ways that you can take care of your skin, even after you’ve been lying in the sun all day.
Applying sunscreen before you venture out for a day in the sunshine seems obvious, but it’s vital that you choose your products carefully. There is a common misconception that choosing a higher SPF factor will stop you from tanning, but it’s not true. Sunscreen is specifically designed to let some UV rays through, but it blocks the two most harmful types (UVA and UVB).
Even if you don’t usually burn, the sun is still harming your skin. You will still come home with a tan after applying factor 30 or 50 throughout your holiday, but your skin will be much healthier.
Nobody is perfect; even if you’re usually very careful, there will still be a day when you forget to apply sunscreen or don’t realise how long you’ve been outside without reapplying. Even if you’ve done everything right, excess sun exposure will cause premature ageing.
Fortunately, there are several options that can help you to improve the condition of your skin after spending time in the sunshine.
Retinol has been a popular skincare ingredient for several years, and with good reason. A derivative of vitamin A, studies have shown retinol to significantly improve skin condition as well as reducing signs of sun damage and ageing.
This is because retinol increases the speed at which your cells reproduce, which thickens the top layer of the skin with new, healthy cells. This makes retinol an ideal way to reduce signs of sun damage and ageing.
The important thing to note is that retinol doesn’t work straight away; it takes time for the active ingredient to change the cell’s reproductive cycle, so don’t give up when you don’t see instant results. It’s also important that you protect your skin while using retinol products. The new cells are more prone to burning and sun damage, so ensure you use a good quality facial SPF whenever you go outside.
Antioxidants have become somewhat of a buzzword in the last decade, and it’s caused a lot of people to dismiss them as a marketing term. Despite this, antioxidants are a vital ingredient to add to your skincare routine.
UV rays can produce free radicals when they interact with your body, which damages your body by creating oxidation reactions. Antioxidants are often included in skincare because they prevent damaging reactions from occurring. Choosing a product high in antioxidants is an excellent way to look after your skin from the outside, but you should also consider your diet.
Choosing foods that are high in antioxidants, like berries, nuts, and colourful vegetables, will further prevent this reaction taking place throughout your body, not just on your skin.
INTRAcel is an impressive treatment that targets areas of your skin that are lacking firmness or elasticity – these are common issues associated with sun damage. The procedure uses microneedling and radio frequency treatments to inflict a small amount of temporary damage to the skin.
This encourages your body’s natural healing processes to target this specific area, resulting in new, healthy skin that’s tighter and smoother – effectively reducing the appearance of sun damage.
Renuvion is a powerful skincare treatment that can provide incredible results and reduce the appearance of sun-damaged skin without the need for invasive treatments. Renuvion was developed specifically to target skin that has lost elasticity, either through sun damage or fat loss.
The procedure works by applying radio frequency to the skin, which causes the cells to contract and tighten. This triggers your body to start producing new collagen in this area, resulting in tighter and smoother skin that lasts for several months.
One of the best things you can do for your skin at any time is simply to look after it properly. Introducing and maintaining a regular routine with good quality skincare will ensure that your skin stays healthy and is in better condition to resist the damage that UV rays can cause.
It’s important to choose skincare based on your specific concerns. If you’re not sure where to start, book a consultation with Dr Comins.
You can discuss your specific skin concerns during your consultation and get personalised recommendations. Obagi is a prescription-only skincare line that’s designed to be personalised to your skin issues. It’s accompanied by regular checkups to ensure it’s working well and make adjustments where necessary.