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How To Repair Sun Damage: Getting Back On Track

How To Repair Sun Damage: Getting Back On Track
Writer and expert6 years ago
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Caught out in the sun? Then you'll need to repair the UV damage to your skin ASAP. Here's what you need to know...

Heatwaves are all fun and games until someone ends up looking like a lobster.... And the sooner you repair sun damage the better. It can take years for dark spots or wrinkles to surface, so act now and thank yourself later! 

From dreaded sunburn to dry patches, flaky, peeling skin and pigmentation - the after effects of sunbathing are real. Even if your skin appears 'fine', if you've spent time at the beach or outdoors in the sun - tan or no tan - it's likely you'll have sun damage waiting to appear further down the line (yay!) Happily, there's plenty you can do now.

Soothing sunburn

Clarins after sun moisturiser

Even if you were really sensible and wore sun protection all day, sunburn can be hard to avoid. Your first action is to soothe the irritated area. Don't be tempted to apply any products until your skin has completely healed. Keep the skin cool if the burn is recent and apply Aloe Vera gel to ease redness. It's tempting but don't pop blisters or peel skin and always apply a dedicated after sun cream to soothe and moisturise after sun exposure. If your skin can stand it, rinse off in a quick, cool shower which can help reduce any inflammation and swelling. Just avoid overly-scented shower gels. We love Clarins Ultra-Hydrating After Sun Moisturiser, which contains moisturising shea butter and absorbs into skin quickly.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask

Once the redness has gone down, you can work on healing the skin. You'll want to repair damaged tissues and encourage new collagen growth, so first and foremost, keep the skin moisturised. If the burn occurred on the face, begin regularly applying a collagen stimulating serum such as HealGel. However, if the burn was on the body,  mix a few drops of skincare hero Rosehip Oil with body creme and apply daily. Remember, repeat sunburns substantially increase your risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. We don't want to worry you, but try to make sure you don't burn again. When it comes to treating a sunburnt face, there's nothing better than a soothing face mask to help reduce redness and seriously cool you down. Cucumber De-Tox Gel Mask For All Skin Types By Peter Thomas Roth helps to hydrate and soothe irritated skin thanks to its cucumber, chamomile, pineapple and aloe vera formula.

Payot Paris Sun Sensi After Sun Balm

Once the redness has gone down, you can work on healing the skin.  Again, avoid anything overly fragranced, and anything that contains high levels of retinols or acids, which will be too harsh for damaged skin. Try Payot Paris Sun Sensi Aftersun Repair Balm , specially formulated with Cell-Protect complex to prevent signs of photoageing, and liquorice extract to soothe, decongest and maintain a luminous tan.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Lancaster after sun

Skin feel tight, sore and and hot? All classic signs of dehydration, and a sign of excessive sunbathing. What your skin really needs now is moisture, moisture, moisture. During the first few days, a targeted after-sun will continue to soothe skin, as well as help your tan stay radiant. Try, Lancaster After Sun Intense Moisturiser. 

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturiser

To ensure your skin stays on track all summer-long, make sure you cleanse daily and apply moisturiser morning and night, as well as an extra night time serum  to combat dryness. Clinique Turnaround Cream has been a bestseller since the 1960s and combats dryness and the effects of sun damage.

Delete dark patches

You may notice dark patches appearing almost instantly after a day in the sun. But they could also take years to develop as pigmentation of the skin. To prevent sunspots occuring, and existing ones getting bigger,  make sure you're wearing sunscreen every day - even in winter. It really is the best way to prevent further damage and dark spots.

Your other best friend is vitamin C which 'mops up' pigmentation and dark spots, improving their appearance. You'll need to apply regularly and make a commitment, but the results are well worth it. We really like Alpha H Vitamin C Serum, which stimulates collagen production and assists in the improvement of radiance, elasticity and skin texture, whilst also helping to reduce pigmentation, refine pores and provide ongoing protection against future sun damage.

Reverse the signs of ageing

Vichy Lifetactiv serum

Tanned skin may look great but it's also damaged skin, so take steps now to reverse that to ensure it looks its best in the years to come. The skin renews every 30 days, so try an intensive treatment, such as the VICHY Liftactiv Vitamin C Corrector for around 1 to 3 months, for the best results, and then as and when your skin requires a pop of brightness.

Thisworks no wrinkles extreme moisturiser

If you're already seeing noticeable signs of ageing, then a Retinol based product will renew your skin by encouraging the renewal process - we love the award-winning thisworks No Wrinkles Extreme Moisturiser. Just be sure you follow up with an SPF, as retinol leaves skin vulnerable to UV rays.

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Writer and expert
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