Summer Skin Rescue: how to rejuvenate sun-damaged skin
Updated: Apr 12
After the blissful, sun-fuelled months of June and July, we have now drifted back to earth or, in some cases, harsh reality: one look in the mirror and the evidence of our sun-worshipping days are all too evident – brown spots, uneven skin tone, dry patches and…… (gasp) where did all those new lines come from?
Current research indicates that an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun and people who use sunscreen (with an SPF of 15 or higher) daily show 24% less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen on a daily basis (source: www.skincancer.org).
But don’t panic, September is the perfect time to initiate a skin health plan before the colder temperatures of winter set in - see our blogpost "Spotlight on Autumn - Change Your Skincare Routine With The Seasons" for more information on how to get skin ready for winter. And so with this in mind, we are going to devote two blogposts to dealing with the effects of summer sun on skin – starting with Dehydration and Pigmentation and how to tackle them.
Before we begin there are two ground rules that are vital to any effective anti-aging skin regime:
1. Treat face, neck, décolletage and hands together where possible as these are the body parts which are most consistently sacrificed on the altar of the “sun-kissed” glow; and
2. Commit to SPF - keep applying it all year round and if possible find a really good SPF product that you can use under foundation on a day to day basis – Skinceuticals Ultra Facial Defense is an intense moisturising sunscreen that has SPF50+ and works brilliantly under foundation.
Dehyrated Skin Rescue Guidelines:
Although we are blaming the sun for dehydration, it’s not the whole truth – other lifestyle factors such as alcohol, diet and caffeine may be equally to blame. The key thing to remember is that dehydrated skin is a condition not a skin type and as such it can be treated with a combination of topical treatments and lifestyle changes. The miracle ingredient when dealing with dehydration is Hyaluronic Acid which is a super-effective skin rejuvenator. Hyaluronic Acid helps the skin bind and retain moisture which keeps it looking plump and smooth. One of our favourite brands, Skinceuticals tells us that “one of the most efficient hydrating ingredients, hyaluronic acid is capable of holding 1,000 times its weight in water, in turn delivering moisture to the skin without clogging pores”. It’s worth noting that babies are born with insanely high levels of hyaluronic acid which explains their perfect, dewy complexions! After the age of 40 however hyaluronic acid levels in our skin start to diminish significantly so now is the time to act!
Whilst the use of a Hyaluronic Acid serum or moisturizer in your daily skin routine won’t give you back that perfect, radiant baby skin, it will help develop softer, smoother, more hydrated skin, improve elasticity and reverse free radical damage. Skinceuticals HA Intensifier amplifies the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by 30% and helps reduce the look of crow’s feet, nasolabial folds (smile lines around the mouth), and marionette lines (lines from the corners of the mouth down to chin) with the added bonus that it is paraben and dye-free. Their Hydrating B5 Gel is specially formulated to deal with dehydration: enriched with Vitamin B5, this gel replenishes the nutrients skin needs to feel smooth and appear younger. It has an oil-free moisturiser gel texture and also contains hyaluronic acid to help bind moisture to the skin.
The key takeaway from any discussion on dehydrated skin is that no amount of treatments in-clinic are going to reverse this condition but a consistent, daily skincare routine will work wonders. In short, it is never too early or too late to incorporate a Hyaluronic Acid product into your daily skin routine.
Pigmented Skin Rescue Guidelines:
There are four main types of pigmentation:
· Sun-induced pigmentation (usually seen in fair-skinned people),
· Post-inflammatory pigmentation (olive skins are susceptible to this),
· Hormone-induced pigmentation also known as Melasma (anybody who is pregnant, taking the pill, IVF or HRT can get this type of discolouration); and
· Age-related hyperpigmentation (as we get older the skin cells that produce pigment (melanocytes) become enlarged).
For a detailed insight into how pigmentation happens, check out our blogpost "It's Never Too Late To Tackle Pigmentation".
In order to treat pigmentation effectively, it’s important to know what type of pigmentation it is as this determines the treatment that can be used, for instance we can achieve excellent results with laser therapy in cases of sun-induced pigmentation while we have found that hormone driven pigmentation responds to a specialised programme of peels which boost collagen production and speed cell turnover. Dermplaning is another excellent non-invasive treatment which works on pigmentation spots by stimulating the deeper layers of skin (the dermis) and triggering cell renewal which in turn increases collagen production. This 'stimulation' effect promotes the distribution of melanin more evenly which in turn significantly improves hyperpigmentation. When dealing with any type of pigmentation issue, the most important initial step is to consult a qualified therapist to help determine the best programme of treatments.
In-clinic pigmentation treatments should also be supported by a rigorous ‘at-home’ skincare regime using products such as brightening serums. Key ingredients in the fight against age spots are Vitamin C, niacinamide, bearberry or liquorice extracts, and azelaic acid. Of these, Vitamin C is perhaps the ‘super ingredient’ because of its brightening and exfoliating effects. The Alumier MD skincare range is a real winner when it comes to pigmentation: products include a stunning array of serums such as the Eventone Brightening Serum which contains powerful pigment inhibitors that prevent new pigmentation spots from appearing. To boost results, EvenTone Brightening Serum can be teamed with either AlumierMD’s AHA Renewal Serum or one of AlumierMD’s Retinol Resurfacing Serums to enhance exfoliation of existing dark spots.
Is your skin dehydrated or are you suffering from age spots? Follow the link here to our contact form and tell us about your skin - we'd love to hear from you and would be delighted to offer you a free skin consultation.