Adequate exposure to the sun is essential so you can get enough Vitamin D to keep your bones strong. You also need the warm rays of the sun to give you that healthy tan. However, the skin is a very delicate organ and highly susceptible to damage from the harmful effects of the sun. As the American Cancer Society reports, close to 3.3 million Americans contract some form of skin cancer because of sun exposure. Harsh UV rays can also cause the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
While restricting exposure to the sun is a good way to begin the process of reversing skin damage, you can use various other modalities to erase the signs and restore the youthful glow of your skin.
Skin Damage can Result from Internal and External Factors
Before you look for effective methods to reverse skin damage, you must understand how damage occurs. Lines and wrinkles can appear because of internal and external factors.
- Internal factors include your genetic makeup and how your body responds to aging. For instance, your genes dictate how the layer of collagen will thin and erode over the years. They also determine the flexibility of the elastin fibers in your skin. The efficient functioning of the sweat glands is yet another factor that depends on your genes.
- Various external factors can cause skin damage, and they include smoking, unhealthy diets, stress and anxiety, and the cosmetics and other products you use. The effects of the UV rays of the sun is another important factor that you should keep in mind each time you go out. Without the proper protection, UV rays can penetrate into the skin and reach the collagen and elastin. By creating breaks in the fibers, the rays can cause the formation of signs of aging. And, by connecting sections of the DNA, the UV rays can cause thymine dimers that eventually turn into cancer.
Begin Caring for Your Skin by Preventing Further Damage
The first steps you can take is to avoid further damage by choosing an effective sunblock and using it every time you go out. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply it liberally on your face, neck, hands, and any other exposed sections. Make sure to wear sunblock even if it is overcast or raining because 80% of UV rays can penetrate the cloud cover. When spending time on the beach, know that the water can reflect the damaging rays and affect your skin. Interestingly, sun rays bouncing off snow in winters can also cause skin damage.
Check the labels of the sunscreen you buy and make sure it has elements like titanium dioxide and micronized zinc oxide. These materials work instantly when applied on the skin. Also, look for a sunscreen that water-resistant and stays on despite the sweat or rain water on your skin.
As New York City cosmetic dermatologist and creator of DermTV.com, Neal Schultz, M.D. reveals, “Whenever you start protecting yourself from the sun, you will stop the process of additional damage and start to reverse, to some extent, what you’ve already accumulated.”
Follow a Careful Skin Care Routine to Reverse Skin Damage
By following a careful step-by-step skin care system, you can help erase the signs of skin damage.
- Remove Dead Cells: Scrubbing your skin and removing the layer of dead cells along with the skin impurities and pigmentation that you collect all through the day is extremely essential. Choose the exfoliating agent that works best for you. For instance, you could try sugar granules with honey or sea salt with cream. Both of these options are natural and moisturize your skin as they scrape off the dead cells. You can also choose chemical agents if your skin can tolerate them well. Consider glycolic acid with a 5% to 8% concentration.
- Erase the Brown Coloring: Each time you step into the sun, your skin responds by producing a brown coloring called melanin. This compound creates a protective shield against further skin damage. Look for products that contain a 2% concentration of hydroquinone as an active ingredient or Retin-A and apply 2 to 3 times on the darkened areas. You can also try natural bleaching agents like lemon juice and other citrus fruit extracts, milk and yogurt, Indian gooseberry extracts, and honey among others.
- Use Antioxidants: You can choose to include antioxidants in your diet or apply them on your skin regularly. These compounds have the capability to protect the layer of collagen and elastin under the skinfrom damage from the free radicals in the atmosphere. They can also protect the skin DNA from the cancer-causing effects of the sun. Choose from foods like green tea, red vegetables, and fruits that contain lycopene, grape seeds, soy in any form, and grape seeds, among others.
- Broad Based Light (BBL) Treatments: Although BBL treatments are not cleared by the FDA, they are known to alter the expression of the aging causing genes so that they revert to a more youthful appearance. Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine and attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital and Yale/New Haven VA Hospital, Macrene Alexiades-Armenakasreports, “As a practicing physician in the field of dermatology, it is exciting to know there is a safe, light-based treatment with groundbreaking clinical evidence supporting anti-aging and the reversal of skin damage available to our patients.”
- Ultherapy Treatments: As the experts at the center forUltherapy in Beverly Hills advise, these treatments that reverse skin damage use the power of ultrasound to stimulate the layer of collagen and elastin to produce new cells. As the layer rejuvenates, the lines and wrinkles are erased, and the skin regains a smoother, more youthful appearance. The Ultherapy procedure is approved by the FDA, safe, non-invasive, has no side effects and is very effective.
The signs of aging that result from sun exposure are a very real possibility that you should be aware of. However, the lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation can be reversed by using the appropriate skin care regimens. You can also consider opting for light and sound based treatments that can restore the flawless perfection of your skin.
Author Bio: Saroj Aggarwal is an experienced writer keenly interested in natural treatments that can restore good health and wellness. She believes that nature has all the necessary elements that humans need for healthy living. Saroj has been following the latest developments in the fields of beauty and health and likes to help people by keeping them informed.