Repairing Sun Damaged Skin

During the summer, our skin enjoys a lot of sunshine! And those of us in the Northeast look forward to this time of year and soak it all up as much as we can.

Because no sunscreen protects the skin 100% and most people are guilty of not applying enough or not reapplying often enough, all that fun in the sun takes its toll on our skin no matter how well we try to protect it.

And although many of us love the look of bronzed, sun-kissed skin, a tan is actually the skin reacting to the injury the UV rays are causing.

Melanin is what gives us our skin, hair, and eye color and is formed by cells called melanocytes. Melanin is also what protects the skin from solar damage. When we expose our skin to UV rays which can cause DNA damage to the skin, the melanocytes react by creating more melanin in the skin. This results in a tan.

A tan is not the only result of damage caused by the sun. Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation are common in sun exposed skin… and not to mention lines and wrinkles which is the result of the breakdown of collagen in the skin.

Hypopigmentation is the loss of skin color which shows up as white spots on the skin. These white spots are permanent unless treated by a medical professional.

The other issues.. hyper pigmentation and discoloration, lines, and wrinkles can be improved with salon level chemical peel treatments and the proper skin care at home.

In the skin care salon, chemical peels, which help stimulate cell renewal, can help smooth out lines and wrinkles and fade spots on the skin. A Ferulic Acid chemical peel with Vitamin C is especially beneficial to reverse some of the sun damage on the skin and is gentle enough for most skin types. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that speeds up the skin’s natural repair process and helps inhibit further damage.

A stronger level chemical peel offered in the salon is with glycolic acid. Glycolic acid which is found in sugar rapidly exfoliates the skin, increases cell turnover, gets rid of dead surface skin cells, helps brighten the skin and fade age spots, and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. Because it is a strong peel, a skin consultation with the esthetician is advised before getting this treatment to make sure your skin can tolerate it.

To really jump start the skin repair process, a chemical peel series of 8-10 peels 1-2 weeks apart is recommended to start followed by monthly facial peels for maintenance.

At home, applying a Ferulic Acid serum, Retinol, or Glycolic Acid nightly will help continue the repair process.

Dedication and consistency in the salon and at home are key for the best results!

And sunscreen every single day is a MUST to protect the skin from further damage.