With summertime winding down in Southwest Florida, everyone is looking to fall into their autumn routine with the glow of a summer tan. And although sun-kissed skin is sexy, sun exposure is not good for our epidermis. The most important thing to understand is that sun damage isn’t just a surface problem. The sun’s harmful UV rays penetrate to deeper levels of the epidermis and cause mutations of DNA that can lead to wrinkles, discoloration and even cancer.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the daily application and reapplication of sunscreen while living in our sunny slice of paradise, you probably have some sun damage. The good news is, there are many ways to reverse the damage that has already taken place. The everyday cure for skin damage lies in environmental stress protection products, and home self-care routines. More intensive treatment options are available through medical professionals and can be extremely beneficial as well.
Here are some treatment options which can help reverse sun damaged skin:
Out with the old, in with the new- Using products that stimulate removal of dead skin cells and regeneration of new skin is a key concept in skin health and can be easily done at home as part of a daily skin care routine. Using glycolic acid cleansers or facial scrubs, along with Retin A or Vitamin A products, are key to turning over damaged cells and replacing them with new ones. If you need a higher impact treatment, an aesthetician can provide treatments such as mild chemical peels, and microdermabrasion that can give you a jumpstart.
Daily use of antioxidant products- Vitamin C is a tried and true product that reverses damage from sun exposure and improves collagen synthesis, which is essential for firm, youthful skin. Using a topical vitamin C product in the morning will help fight off the negative effects of the sun and help restore brightness to your skin.
Hydrate- The sun can be very drying to the skin. Using products that both hydrate and turn over skin cells is best (glycolic acid moisturizers or hyaluronic acid products). A hydrating treatment that assists with the turnover of dead and damaged skin cells is the HydraFacial, a water and acid based moisturizing treatment that renews and revitalizes the skin. This treatment is available with an aesthetician.
Destroy sun spots- Products containing hydroquinone or kojic acid can lighten sunspots and brighten your skin. The only down side to these products is that they take time to achieve results and generally lighten but don’t completely eliminate the spots. An intense pulse light (IPL) laser treatment is fastest way to remove brown spots due to sun damage. It targets the melanin (brown pigment) in sun spots, destroys the colored pigment and forces the damage to rise to the surface of the skin and flake off within one to two weeks. This is generally a single treatment, but can be repeated to further improve the brown spots as needed. An added perk of this treatment is that it reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and broken capillaries (red spots) as well! Many people have an IPL once a year to maintain their skin tone.
The big gun- If you have really significant sun damage, including heavy wrinkles, sunspots and weathered skin, the best and most effective way to reverse this damage is with a full face laser resurfacing procedure. The laser removes the top layer of skin, and a new baby-smooth layer forms during the healing process. As you might imagine, this requires some down time from social events (1-2 weeks) but is a more complete rejuvenation of the skin and unparalleled in its ability to transform the old to the new.
As you can see, after a summer in the sun, there are many ways to repair sun damaged skin, and there is no single ‘right’ way to go about it. No matter what your skin type, degree of damage, or budget, there is a solution to begin the reversal process. Make sure to explore your options and start reversing the summer sun damage soon, because we all know that after a Florida summer the sun doesn’t go away, it stays out to play.
– Dr. Kristen Flaharty is the owner of Trilogy Laboratories, a custom skin care product manufacturer located in Fort Myers, FL. She holds a doctoral degree in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan. Trilogy Laboratories was founded on her vision of developing high quality medical grade skin care products. Her laboratory supplies products to Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa, as well as customers of the IntegraDerm line and other private label clients. Dr. Patrick Flaharty provided input into this editorial.
Here’s something new to obsess over— LIP TAR/ RTW!
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics recently launched an all-new way to experience the cult-classic liquid lipstick.
Founded in New York City in 2004 by makeup artist David Klasfeld, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics started with a pair of Lip Balms. As an artist, Klasfeld wanted to develop products that met the needs of artists who weren’t satisfied with the traditional options found on the market, through a commitment to innovation in color, texture and selection. And from Lip Balm, he moved on to one of the first airbrush formulas, nail lacquer, deeply pigmented multi-purpose shimmer powder and finally Lip Tar.
LIP TAR/ RTW is the original matte liquid lipstick, formulated for unrivaled pigment intensity and wear-time! The innovative formula is made with hemp oil and dynamic colors. It is gluten free and silicone free and provides a complete, opaque coverage, either alone or mixed with other shades!
But that’s not all, striving to be on the forefront of colour cosmetics, while honoring both professional makeup artistry and cruelty-free heritage, OCC is 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free, as internationally certified by PETA.
– LIP TAR/ RTW hit the shelves of Nordstrom in August. For more information or to get your OCC look on visit, www.occmakeup.com!