Sun damage often manifests as dark spots, which are clusters of hyperpigmentation. It usually looks different across skin tones. In lighter skin types we can notice thinning of the skin, fine lines and discolorations while in darker skin types, discolorations may be the most prominent feature of sun damage. The technical term for these changes is called “photoageing”.
UVA rays are generally linked to the ageing of skin cells, causing wrinkles, sunspots and other signs of sun damage. UVB rays, on the other hand, are the main cause of sunburns, directly damage DNA in skin cells and are linked to most skin cancers.
Despite how many years of sun damage your skin has suffered, it’s never too late to start reversing the damage. It is possible to reverse sun damage to some extent using certain cosmetics or treatments like laser, chemical peels that help reduce dark spots, encourage collagen deposition and repair the skin.
Humectants and emollients can hydrate and smooth the skin to keep it looking plump, which is particularly important for dry skin. Anti-ageing topicals like antioxidants, peptides and alpha-hydroxy acids can increase the turnover of skin cells, increase collagen production and decrease discoloration.
So make sure you are protecting your skin for real now and keep in mind that additional exposure to UV rays will prevent any progress in treating sun-damaged skin.
Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that filters out both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all exposed skin and renew every two hours especially during hot summer days.
Last but not least, wear lightweight and long-sleeved shirts and pants, sunglasses with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat. Enjoy summer safely!