Are you ready for a scary statistic? An estimated 90 percent of all skin ageing is caused by something you encounter every single day – the sun! Fortunately, we live in a very sun savvy time, and there are lots of things we can do to prevent the unnecessary bane that is sun damage. Still, before we all become sun smart, many of us didn’t take the precautions we should have. Back in the day, sunscreen was something you only wore to the beach, not as a daily defense. In fact, many of us actually sought out the sun and would purposefully go unprotected in the pursuit of a golden glow, a quest we now realise can be deadly.
If this was you, be years back or just a summer ago, and you’re now sitting with the unwanted results - sun damage - know that it’s never too late to treat it. But first, let’s talk about the signs.
The signs of sun damage
Pigmentation is most definitely the ‘poster child’ symptom for sun damage, but it’s definitely not the only fall out you’ll wear on your skin. Not by a long shot. Unprotected sun exposure is the fast track to degrading your skin’s collagen fibres and elastin. These are the proteins that give it it’s youthful ‘bounce’ and elasticity. In the same way, the Lycra in a swimming costume eventually loses its stretch after too much wear and tear; this is what the sun does to your collagen. It breaks it down, and your skin can only replenish itself so much. Also, as we get older, we don’t produce nearly as much collagen as we did in our youth and eventually stop making it altogether. This is why it’s important to preserve what we have when we’re young as well as invest in treatments that encourage our existing stash to multiply. The more collagen you have, the more you can stimulate to grow.
Other less obvious sun damage signs? Broken veins and redness (the sun’s rays damage the walls of your blood vessels); an impaired barrier function that can’t hold moisture, so your skin’s perpetually dry and has a ‘rough’, dull, uneven-looking texture. This is made worse by the fact that sun damaged skin struggles to exfoliate naturally.
A solution for every sign
Because there are so many visible signs and they can present in different levels of severity there isn’t a single solution for sun damage. You’d need to make use of several to treat them all. Also, it’s almost always best to use several modalities to truly zap any given thing. To use pigmentation as an example, some treatments target it by preventing more of it from travelling to the surface, and others buff away at it from the top. Using either would make an improvement but using both would offer superior results.
This is why, at Skin Renewal, we’ve created an array of hard-working in-office Pigmentation & Sun Damage Solutions to give you the very best results. Each solution is essentially a package of several treatments, a brilliant bouquet carefully curated to target multiple signs of sun damage from different angles. Better yet, they vary in intensity so your doctor will be able to suggest the solution that would suit you best.
For example, those with mild sun damage would get satisfaction from our Starter Pigmentation and Sun Damage Solution. It includes the application of pigmentation-improving tranexamic acid and a SAMA peel. The latter is often used to treat acne, but we’ve discovered it also improves the look of pigmentation, fine lines and a rough texture. Someone with more severe sun damage, however, would require something more intense and our Grand Pigmentation and Sun Damage Solution fits the bill nicely. It includes nine different treatments to take a 3D approach to all the signs of sun damage. Two of these treatments are Fraxel laser and Laser Genesis treatment and both do a great job of banishing pigmentation, stimulating collagen and creating a more refined-looking, smoother-feeling complexion. Also, remember those broken blood vessels we told you about? They can help you get rid of those too!
The bottom line
If you're dealing with the signs of sun damage, things like pigmentation, wrinkles, a loss of elasticity and a dry, rough-feeling skin, all is not lost, and there are lots of things you can do about. If you make an appointment to see one of the doctors or therapists at Skin Renewal, they can assess your situation and suggest the perfect solution - a package of complimentary treatments that will suit the severity of your condition. As we said, prevention is always better than cure, but it's never too late to treat sun damaged skin and the time to start is now.