How to Restore & Rejuvenate Your Sun-Damaged Skin
Spring break has officially come to a close and chances are, with the great weather we’ve had recently, your skin has acquired some damage. While your complexion may be looking sun-kissed, the repercussions that can occur on account of heightened sun exposure can be extremely dangerous to both your skin and your well-being. That’s why you should dedicate some time to restoring and rejuvenating your skin post-vacation, so that you can not only prepare it for the warmer months ahead, but also prevent any permanent damage from occurring.
To get you started, follow these tips when caring for your sun-damaged skin:
#1 Exfoliate Dead Skin Cells
Start by removing all the dead skin cells from your face using either an exfoliation tool or product. By getting rid of the darkened dead cells you built up throughout the course of your vacation, you’re making room for new, healthier ones to grow, which thereby better serves to support your sun-kissed glow. As a result, you may notice that your complexion appears brighter, smoother, and more even in texture.
Keep in mind that there are two different types of exfoliants, namely: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants are generally recommended for those who have sensitive skin, as this method of exfoliation uses acids or enzymes as a way to dissolve dead skin cells. Physical exfoliants, on the other hand, work similarly to a washcloth or another textured surface that is formulated with granules or other small particles that are designed to scrub off dead skin cells.
Although everyone’s post-sun skin care routine may look a little different, when it comes to the exfoliation step, it may be in your best interest to stick with a chemical exfoliant as sun-damaged skin is usually quite sensitive and vulnerable to the use of harsh products.
This means that even if your complexion is used to being treated with a physical exfoliant, it doesn’t mean that your skin is safe from experiencing a negative reaction. Dryness, irritation, and redness are more likely to occur from using a physical exfoliant on sun-damaged skin, so try to avoid this type of product or approach at all costs for at least the first few weeks post-vacation.
#2 Add Vitamin A to Your Regimen
To help reverse damage caused by the sun, consider adding a tried-and-true ingredient such as retinol to your post-vacation skin care routine. Retinoids—the overarching term for retinol—are derived from vitamin A and work to combat signs of aging by speeding up skin cell turnover and stimulating collagen production.
Consistent use of any retinoid product can further allow you to shed any dead skin cells and produce new, healthier ones. Healthier skin can fade dark spots, reduce hyperpigmentation, and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
Depending on the severity of damage that accrued during your vacation, as well as the type of skin and unique concerns you regularly experience, the type of retinol product you should add to your regimen may vary. For some, an over-the-counter retinol product may be the most appropriate treatment to use on their skin, as these typically contain a weaker retinol formula and aren’t as harsh on the skin.
Others, however, may find that adding a prescription retinoid product may be more suitable to use on their skin, specifically they work great on more mature skin. Under these circumstances, using a prescription treatment like an anti-aging cream containing tretinoin (also known as retin-A), as opposed to an OTC treatment, will likely be more effective in reversing sun damage and minimizing visible signs of aging. Talk to your doctor to learn which retinol treatment options are right for you.
#3 Hydrate & Soothe Skin
Exfoliating and adding vitamin A to your skin care regimen is only sufficient for treating sun-damaged skin that is hydrated, which is why it’s imperative to use skin care products that work to retain moisture and rehydrate your skin. Because, believe it or not, the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun affects more than just the surface layer of your skin. Rather, the UVA and UVB rays have the ability to penetrate into the deepest layers of your skin, which naturally, causes the skin to become more delicate post-sun.
Using a treatment formulated with hyaluronic acid—which works to bind water molecules into the skin in an effort to keep it moisturized—can provide you with the extra nourishment you need to maintain your newly bronzed complexion and the overall integrity of your skin. That being said, don’t be afraid to be rigorous with the application of these types of products, as hyaluronic acid or another daily moisturizer is necessary for maintaining a youthful-looking, sun-kissed complexion.
In addition to using basic hydrating products as part of your post-vacation skin care regimen, you should also incorporate replenishing face masks as part of your weekly routine. This will help to ensure your skin is getting the nutrients it needs to keep its moisture barrier intact. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep dryness at bay, improve skin texture, and prevent dullness.
And the best part is you don’t necessarily need to purchase an expensive, luxury face mask to get results either. Whether you’re ballin’ on a budget or are simply feeling lazy, you can easily use the ingredients in your kitchen to make your very own DIY hydrating mask at home. Ingredients like avocado, coconut oil, aloe vera, and honey are all beneficial for treating sun-damaged skin, so have fun and get creative!