Sun damage ranks as the one of the top causes of premature aging of the skin, also known as photo-aging.
While initial sun exposure can lead to short term effects such as darkening or burning of the skin, long term effects are often more serious and include dark spots, uneven pigmentation and even skin cancer.
SIGNS OF SUN DAMAGE
While serious effects of sun damage may take decades to develop, initial signs can be detected on individuals in their 20s and even teens. Common signs of early sun damage on your face can include:
- Initial fine lines and wrinkling
- Uneven skin tone or dark spots, freckles
- Reduction of skin volume and less elasticity
- Rough, uneven skin texture
- Broken capillaries (enlarged blood vessels beneath your skin looking like spidery red marks) usually around the nose and mouth
- Patches of redness and blotchiness
Are freckles sun damage?
Freckles are not sun damage, they are the skin’s natural mechanism to prevent sun damage. Freckles are usually hereditary, though they are triggered by sun exposure.
They appear in areas where your skin is especially sensitive to UV rays. If you’re seeing a lot of freckles on your face, your body is signaling that you are susceptible to sun damage on your face, and should be using sunscreen regularly.
Is melasma and freckles the same thing?
Melasma is a treatable skin disorder that appears as light to dark brown patches or spots. Melasma is the the result of the skin producing extra melanin which darkens the skin. While it can be triggered by sun exposure, melasma can also be caused by hormonal changes.
How to treat dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Dark spots on the face are a form of hyperpigmentation, meaning, the skin is producing extra melanin (the skin’s natural pigment) to protect it from sun damage. Dark spots can also be caused by skin trauma from acne, cuts, ingrown hairs, harsh chemicals and scarring.
Prevention and protection
The best way to prevent sun-related dark spots is by limiting time in the sun, covering our face with a hat. When you do go out in the sun, apply a broadband SPF sunscreen which will protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Treating Dark Spots
Dark spots are treatable with topical creams containing retinoids, vitamin C and natural brightening agents such as salicylic acid or select flower extracts.
Other Treatments for Sun Marks
There are also cosmetic procedures that can effectively address and eliminate dark spots. Procedures such as laser therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels have shown to be very effective in treating dark spots on the face and body.
What are these white spots on my skin?
Also known as idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, white spots on the face and body are a result of the skin not producing enough melanin on some spots. These spots tend to stand out more as other parts of the skin get darker or more tan. The spots are not painful or dangerous, though you might be more susceptible to burning in these areas.
Sun damage on your lips
Your lips are very susceptible to sun damage, especially since the skin on your lips is very thin. Prolonged sun exposure on the plips caresult in a skin condition called Solar cheilitis which can be dangerous and precancerous. So be sure to apply SPF lip balm every time you’re out in the sun.
Sun damage and aging
The major signs of photoaging are fine lines, wrinkles, crows feet, caused by the UV rays destroying the molecular structure of the cells. As the sun destroys the cells, our body can pretty much keep up and produce new cells. As we age, the body is not as efficient at producing cells and collagen, resulting in lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
How to get rid of sun damage
Prevention is your best defense from premature photoaging, and you are never to young to start. Easy preventative steps to take to avoid dark spots and wrinkles are:
- Limiting sun exposure time
- Avoiding exposure during midday when the sun is strongest.
- Wearing wide brimmed hats and long sleeves
- Applying SPF often
Sonya's Sun Damage Solutions:
Fade Away - Skin brightening treatment and dark spot corrector works naturally without chemical bleaching agents. Using peptide technology and supercharged botanic ingredients, see visible improvements to dark spots and uneven skin tone in as little as 10 days.
Ultima C Serum - This skin brightening serum contains 15% vitamin C to visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyaluronic acid to plump skin and provide a smoother and brighter complexion.
Retinu - Gentle retinol serum uses encapsulated time release technology to provide constant brightening and anti-aging benefits, without causing redness or irritation. Dramatically improves appearance of fine lines, dark spots, dullness while improving skin texture.
Face Shield - This anti-aging sunscreen provides SPF 30 broadband protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays. The lightweight formulation goes on clear without messy streaks and contains aloe and vitamins A and E to soothe and nourish skin. Paraben and lanolin free.
Lip Shield - SPF 15 lip protection with a delicate formula of organic extra virgin olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, vitamin E, and rosemary extract.