It is easy to forget the danger of over-exposure to the sun, and many of us are guilty of forgoing sun lotion on cooler days or when it has clouded over, but prolonged exposure to the sun can result in a number of negative health and aesthetic problems in the future.
The best way to protect from sun damage is to practice preventative measures to ensure that your skin is always safe. Wearing sun lotion with an SPF30 is essential whenever you go outside, and it is important to remember to reapply lotion every 3 hours for maximum protection. In addition to SPF, it is very important to use Vitamin C in your SPF routine to ensure that you have complete protection from UV damage (preferably before applying SPF). This beneficial ingredient plays an important role in preventing photo-aging. Sun damage is an oxidative process: UV rays cause the release of damaging free radicals, which leads to premature signs of aging, but Vitamin C neutralizes them and helps shield your skin from this damage. In essence, when Vitamin C is paired with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, the skin receives multifaceted protection. If possible, avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, usually from 11am until 3pm, but if you have to venture out, stay in shaded areas as much as possible. If you have sensitive skin or skin that has been previously burnt, wear loose-fitting light clothing to prevent any further sun sun damage – and of course don’t forget to keep your body hydrated with water.
Despite our best efforts, we all can forget to practice safe sun care and unfortunately our skin can betray our errors. Sun-exposed skin can gradually lose moisture and essential oils making it appear dry, flaky, and prematurely wrinkled. Actinic Keratosis is a small, thickened and scaly growth develops on parts of the skin that suffer from regular sun exposure. The most common complaint, however, is pigmentation. Over the course of 10-20 years our skin begins to show the effect of prolonged sun exposure in the form of discolouration, often called sunspots or age spots.
Thanks to technology, however, it is now possible to reverse many of the negative aesthetic effects of sun damage. For a completely non-invasive procedure I would recommend undergoing a Chemical Peel, a treatment that offers a fast and effective way to remove dead skin and improve the overall appearance of damaged skin –and with the latest generation of chemical peels, there is little if any downtime. Another great option is a PICO Laser. This next-generation treatment harnesses a non-thermal, photomechanical effect paired with ultra-short pulse durations to create shockwaves that shatter pigments in the skin without damaging the surrounding tissue.
Remember, it is never too late to start protecting your skin, or to begin addressing the negative effects of sun damage so make a pact today to follow a strict regime – your skin will most definitely thank you!