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5 Simple Steps to Treating Sun Damage

Most of us enjoy a bit of time out in the sun. While there are plenty of benefits, including vital intake of vitamin D, there are also some significant downsides – particularly when it comes to the health of our skin. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause a variety of issues, ranging from photoaging and dark spots to serious health conditions. So while you shouldn’t spend your life hiding away from the great outdoors, it’s important to take necessary precautions. To avoid damage, many health professionals now recommend that we all wear sun protection throughout the year – including cold, dark winter days. This may seem excessive, but the surprising fact is that even cloud cover doesn’t prevent all harmful UV rays. So even when the weather is at its gloomiest, you should be applying a factor 15 and when it’s a hot sunny day, increase your protection with a factor 30 sun screen. But what if you have already suffered years of sun damage to your skin? Have you begun to notice that the elasticity is being reduced or that red blotches are appearing on your face? Well, don’t despair; there are plenty of readily available treatments to help you to fight back. Moisturiser and Rehydration Moisturised skin In the immediate aftermath of prolonged exposure to the sun it’s important that you follow some basic steps to ensure your skin doesn’t suffer lasting damage. UV rays won’t just damage the top layer of skin but can penetrate much deeper, potentially causing a number of issues. In the first instance, it’s important that you replenish the nutrients and moisture that are lost. So while after sun soothes that initial pain, it can also play an important role in rehydrating skin. This can be used in conjunction with a number of other products, including standard moisturisers and specially formulated rehydration serums. Again, this won’t necessarily solve all problems, but it will certainly help reduce long-term skin damage. Recommended Product: Medik8 CE ThioneWhile you may not necessarily associate vitamin C with skin care, it can actually prove to be hugely beneficial – particularly when it comes to sun damage. Vitamin C contains a range of antioxidants, which work together to help repair damaged skin and provide a little extra protection. By applying it to any affected areas, you can help to speed up the process and develop a healthy glow once again. It should not be used as sun screen; however, it can help to guard against the harmful effects of UV light. Recommended Product: NeoStrata Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum - 30mlOne of the long-term implications of sun damage or regular, unprotected exposure to UV rays is a condition known as photoaging. This is essentially when skin becomes wrinkled and leathery, adding years to your appearance. Nobody wants to look older than they actually are, which is why it’s important that you take preventative action as early as possible. Pigment controllers and brighteners can help you to maintain an even colour, as well as moisturising the skin. As mentioned previously though, vitamin C and even vitamin E applied to the skin can provide rehydration. There are plenty of skin firming and anti-aging products that can help counteract photoaging. Don’t wait until your skin is losing elasticity before taking action. If you are rarely out of the sun and are always seeking a natural tan, then you should also be moisturising and revitalising your skin. Recommended Product: Exuviance OptiLight Essential 6 Serum - 30mlOne of the unfortunate potential by-products of exposure to the sun is hyperpigmentation. This can affect the skin and nails, causing unsightly patches of discolouration to appear. While make-up can mask any such issues, it won’t always provide a lasting solution. So if you have sun damaged skin and suffer from hyperpigmentation, there are a few products you should consider using. Firstly, look for a top quality renewal cream. These get to the heart of the problem, tackling both wrinkles and blemishes. By evening the tone and hydrating the skin, it can help to naturally reduce discolouration and make you appear healthier again. Again, brightening creams or serums that also contain moisturising agents will help to create a more balanced tone without the need to cover it up. Recommended Product: Applying sunscreenAs the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So if you want to avoid sun damaged skin, it’s a good idea to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. Consider wearing some level of sun cream throughout the year. Many modern cosmeceuticals contain SPF 15 or higher as well as offering moisturiser, foundation or brightening qualities. So if you’re worried about how it will affect your skin, you don’t need to. Provide particular protection to areas that are prone to burning. If your skin has peeled as a result of staying out too long, don’t allow the new skin beneath to suffer similar exposure. It can be tender and more prone to damage. So put on extra clothing, cover your head and shoulders and keep applying that sun screen. Recommended Product: Heliocare Gel SPF50 So there you have it, a quick guide to fighting back against sun damage. If you would like to find out more about the products mentioned or how to tackle particular skin conditions, visit Effortless Skin. We have a range of useful guides and an easy-to-follow system, categorising products by skin type, condition and even price. Image Sources: 

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Applying sunscreen

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