let’s break down what’s really happening every time you get a tan… the DNA in your skin is being damaged, which is the #1 cause of hyper-pigmentation (AKA brown spots), wrinkles and skin cancer. those “cute” freckles are actually a sign of injury to the skin that will only worsen with time. getting “a tan” is the result of your skin trying to protect itself by increasing the production of melanin (the dark pigment found in skin). that’s why people with darker skin tones take longer to burn, because they have more melanin to protect them than those with fair skin. however, no skin type is exempt from the damaging effects of the sun. even if burning is not an issue, everyone’s skin is susceptible to sun-induced wrinkles. remember, there are 2 types of rays UVaging and UVburning…

sun exposure accounts for 90% of all visible signs of aging. studies have shown that just a 2% increase in sun damage can age the face by 3 years (cringe). what’s worse, UV rays will counteract the beneficial ingredients in your skincare products such as antioxidants, peptides, etc, so you’re wasting your time and money if you aren’t shielding your face with SPF

a few statistics

1 in 5 americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
1 in 3 cancers diagnosed in the United States is skin cancer
80% of skin cancer occurs on the head, neck and hands as they are exposed to the sun the most

so, now that we’ve scared you a little bit, let’s discuss prevention and how to treat…

prevention

always apply (and reapply) SPF: look for a broad-spectrum “mineral formula” that contains zinc oxide. it’s the safest and most effective sunscreen ingredient, and won’t clog your pores or cause an allergic reaction. mineral sunscreen is not absorbed by the skin, but designed to sit on the surface to reflect the sun’s rays

 

 

protect and restore with antioxidants: when harmful rays from the sun hit our skin, SPF absorbs them while antioxidants neutralize the free radicals created by them before they can do damage. SPF and antioxidants were born to be married and are a power couple when it comes to fighting sun damage. always layer then underneath you SPF and look for products containing Vitamin C & E

 

 

how to treat

retinol: no skincare routinue is complete without Vitamin A in your arsenal. we have several post to refer to for all you need to know about retinol and retin-A. here and here. but remember, ONLY apply retinol at night as it makes your skin extra sensitive to the sun

 

 

 

AHAs: we swear by chemical exfoliation for a glowing complexion. they work by shedding the top layer of dead skin cells to improve overall tone and texture. they also stimulate the production of collagen, which helps the skin naturally repair itself and fights signs of aging

 

 

 

when it comes to medical treatments, here’s what we recommend to clients…

photofacial: our preferred method for addressing sun damage (usually requires an initial series of 3)

microneedling: safe on all skin types (series of 3-6)

profractional or fractional laser: if damage is deep and excessive