At COOLA, we’re Serious about Sun™, and we’re committed to preventing sun damage. Sun damage is a widespread issue that affects people of all ages. If you're curious about a skincare routine to minimize or reverse sun damage, look no further. Whether you've spent too much time outdoors without enough SPF coverage or you're looking to prevent future damage, consider this your comprehensive guide to reviving sun-damaged skin, to help you achieve a glowy, radiant complexion. But first, let's start with the basics.
What is Sun Damage?
Sun damage, or photodamage or photoaging, occurs when your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Two types of UV rays that can impact your skin: UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin, contributing to premature aging, while UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburns. Over time, excessive sun exposure can lead to various skin issues, such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin cancer.
What are the Signs of Photoaging?
Signs of sun-damaged skin, also known as photoaging, typically begin to appear during your teenage years and early twenties. The following are the effects of not wearing sunscreen:
- Uneven skin texture
- Actinic keratosis or solar keratosis which are red scaly patches or bumps on the skin
- Pigmentation changes such as sun spots, freckles, age spots, and liver spots
- White spots or small flat depigmented areas on the body from
- Brown spots caused after sunburn
How to Prevent Sun Damage
Prevention is the most effective way to maintain healthy and youthful-looking skin. Here are some essential tips to keep your skin healthy before damage occurs:
- Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen all year long with SPF 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. We recommend our COOLA Refreshing Water Cream SPF 50 or our COOLA Dew Good Illuminating Serum SPF 30. Reapply every two hours when outdoors. If you will be swimming or sweating, choose a water-resistant formula like COOLA Classic Face Lotion SPF 50.
- Properly Treat Sunburns: We've all had a sunburn after a day at the beach or by the pool. If you're sunburned, be sure to treat it properly for immediate relief and to bring your skin back to health. We recommend using after-sun recovery like COOLA's Organic Radical Recovery After Sun Moisturizer, designed to soothe and repair sun-exposed skin. It’s great for use as a daily moisturizer, while also containing soothing Organic Agave and Aloe Vera to help relieve the feeling of sunburns.
- Seek Shade: During the sun's peak hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., find shade to minimize direct exposure.
- Wear Protective Clothing: When outside, cover up with long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses that offer UV protection.
- Avoid Tanning Beds: Artificial tanning beds emit harmful UV rays that can accelerate skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. If you’re looking for color, opt for a self-tanner like our Organic Anti-Aging Moisturizer or Organic Firming Lotion.
Skincare Routine if You Have Sun Damage
If you've already experienced sun damage, there are steps you can take to repair and rejuvenate your skin. Start with a gentle cleanser like our Organic Glowing Greens Detoxifying Cleansing Gel to remove dirt and makeup without stripping your skin's natural oils. Then use a mild exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, which can help fade dark spots. It’s key to use a gentle exfoliator, like our Organic Pacific Polish Gentle Sea Salt Exfoliator, which contains Papaya Fruit Extract. Or you can look for an exfoliator that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Exfoliating will also allow your serums and moisturizers to absorb more effectively into your skin.
Afterward, incorporate serums with antioxidant- and nutrient-rich ingredients, like vitamin C, to support skin health and tone. COOLA’s Organic Vital Rush Serum contains a vitamin C-rich extract from the Camu Camu plant, which has the highest known content of natural vitamin C on the planet, up to 60 times more than an orange.
Next, ensure your moisturizer provides hydration without clogging your pores. If it’s nighttime, apply an antioxidant-rich nourishing night cream with ingredients like retinol or peptides acid to preserve and boost collagen production, which supports sun damage reversal and tone correction. In the daytime, sunscreen is an absolute must, even if you spend most of your day indoors, since UV rays can penetrate windows. And with the sun being the primary cause of photodamage, protection is the best line of defense.
Lifelong healthy skin requires more than just skincare products; it begins with daily habits. Start your day by staying hydrated with a glass of water. Consume various colorful foods such as berries, greens, and fatty fish to nourish your skin with essential nutrients and support its natural barrier. Manage stress through activities like yoga or meditation. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your skin to rejuvenate; stress can impact your skin’s health as well. Regular exercise enhances blood flow, and a basic skincare routine encompassing cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and organic sunscreen application can go a long way. For personalized advice, consult a dermatologist and remember that consistency is key in the journey towards healthier skin.
A Few Additional Tips
- Always check skincare product ingredients. Be mindful of what’s in your skincare products, and avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances that may irritate or damage your skin.
- Remember, early prevention is key. To protect your skin from UV radiation, skin damage, uneven pigmentation, and changes in skin texture, make it a habit to wear sunscreen year-round.
- Schedule regular skin check-ups with a dermatologist, especially if you have a history of sun exposure or skin concerns. Early detection of skin issues can make a significant difference in treatment and outcomes.
- Encourage others to share this guide to raise awareness and start a larger conversation about the importance of sun protection and skin health.
All in all, how to treat sun-damage on the face and photoaging is a worthwhile concern, but with proper preventive measures and a diligent skincare routine, you can maintain healthy and glowing skin for years to come.