Sun-kissed skin sits high on the wish-list of many. But bronzed and glowing post-Summer skin doesn’t come without it’s risks.
At what point does a sun-kissed glow become sun damage? How can you prevent it and what are the best treatments for sun damaged skin? We answer all these questions and more to help you stay protected and prevent premature skin ageing.
Sun-kissed vs sun-damaged skin
Is there a difference between sun-kissed and sun damaged skin? Not really.
Sun damage is cumulative, and your risk of damage increases over time. That means that even small amounts of sun exposure can cause skin damage, even if your skin doesn’t show any immediate signs like sunburn or dryness. In fact, many signs of sun damage you see on your skin at present are a result of damage caused months and even years in the past.
In short, if you’re looking to achieve the lightly bronzed and glowing skin reminiscent of a sun-kissed look, avoid the sun and turn to makeup to keep your skin healthy and looking youthful for years to come.
What is sun damaged skin?
When we talk about sun damaged skin, we’re referring to photoaging. Photoaging is the premature skin ageing due to damage from UVA and UVB radiation. This UV exposure speeds up the degradation of collagen and elastin, two proteins in the skin that provide structure and bounce for smooth and firm skin. Collagen loss overtime causes fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin that makes the face appear aged.
UVB rays, the radiation that causes sunburn, triggers abnormal melanin production leading to pigmentation and skin discolouration. This type of sun damage is cumulative, so it only takes small amounts of exposure each day to build up to significantly damaged skin overtime.
Photoaging caused by sun damage can also look like:
- Broken capillaries (spider veins)
- Red, rough and scaly patches of skin
- White spots on the skin
- Uneven skin tone or texture
- Thinning skin or loss of elasticity
Who is at risk of skin damage from the sun?
Everyone, no matter skin tone, is at risk of sun damaged skin. Fairer skin tones and people with lighter hair colours and green or blue eyes tend to be more susceptible to severe burning accelerating the signs of ageing associated with sun damage. People with a darker skin tone may be less likely to burn with prolonged sun exposure than fairer skin types, however damage is still being done.
There are also certain health conditions that increase the likelihood of damaged skin so you may be more susceptible to sun damage if you have:
- Certain autoimmune diseases
- Had an organ transplant
- Take medications that weaken the immune system
- Take medications that sensitise the skin to sunlight
How to prevent sun damaged skin
It may seem obvious, yet it has to be mentioned; the best way to prevent sun damage is to protect your skin from the sun. That means applying and reapplying sunscreen every day, even when it’s cold or cloudy. Wear protective clothing when you’re in the sun for extended periods including a hat, sunglasses and long-sleeved clothing. It’s also best to avoid sun exposure in the middle hours of the day when the sun is at its peak and UV rays are strongest.
Sun damaged skin treatments
Treating sun damage on face, neck and areas of the chest and decolletage can feel like a job for skincare or professional aesthetic treatments but these only do part of the job.
Popular skincare ingredients targeted at treating pigmentation such as retinol, vitamin c and AHAs treat the superficial layers of the epidermis penetrating only about 3% of the skin. While these ingredients form part of a bidirectional anti-ageing routine, they aren’t a hero solution. With most signs of sun damage sitting within the deepest layers, an internal approach using anti-ageing supplements is the most effective approach to sun damaged skin treatments.
Vida Glow’s Radiance provides support on a cellular level to brighten, illuminate and achieve skin tone perfection by reducing dark spots and pigmentation. Powered by hero active SkinAx2™, it is clinically proven to increase luminosity and reduce facial imperfections helping to diminish signs of sun damaged skin on the face like dark patches, sunspots and freckles.
With the foundations of a targeted ingestible beauty routine and a skincare routine in place, you can then consider if in clinic treatments are the right investment for your goals and treating sun damaged skin. Importantly, treating sun damaged skin takes consistency and diligence to prevent further damage so always remember to pop on your hat when you’re out and about.