Sun, sand and water. Memories of a perfect summer vacation. But what we so often forget is the impact these coveted warm weather elements have on our skin and the damage that comes along with them…
Summer Sun Damage
Every year like clockwork our patients arrive back from their holidays after weeks of relaxed, sun bleached months in the sun. What they forget (or don’t realize) is that the damage has already been done. The skin’s increase in melanin production, which gives us all the “sun-kissed” tan, is actually the skin’s “first responders” trying to protect us from further harm in the deeper skin layers below the surface. The results of this sun stress, combined with harsh chlorinated water and dehydration is a complexion that is tired, over pigmented, and dull.
Helping your Skin
While we can’t completely undo damage to the skin there are options that can absolutely address the results of a weatherworn look to help your skin appear more refreshed and rejuvenated. For every patient there is inevitably a different recommended treatment plan based on skin type, health and need ranging from procedures to high-impact skincare.
Chemical peels and dermaplaning: Catered to each skin type, these complementary options exfoliate the superficial layers of the skin for a brighter, luminous glow.
Microlaserpeel: Superficial fractional laser resurfacing exfoliates the upper layers of the skin to accelerate the skin’s renewal process.
Fraxel laser resurfacing: For those with more advanced signs of sun damage a dermatologist may recommend the gold standard in fractional resurfacing. This laser technique deeply penetrates the skin to stimulate collagen production, skin repair and healthier cell regeneration.
Skincare: While procedures are a great way to start tackling pigment buildup, skincare plays an essential role in combating day-to-day discoloration for a more even and lightened skin tone.
- The first step in a skincare regimen is to use a topical vitamin C serum every morning. Not only does this help protect skin against free radical damage but vitamin C has known brightening properties.
- The next step is to start using a corrective skin lightning product. There are countless options available ranging from over the counter products such as Advanced Pigment Corrector with a mixture of low-grade acids to exfoliate and fade discoloration to prescription-strength products with hydroquinone and tretinoin.
- Finally, I recommend that most patients who can should use a retinol cream at night, particularly during the fall and winter months when you are less likely to be exposed to the sun.
Of course, as with any recommendation, it’s essential to visit your physician before starting on any skincare regimen or procedure treatment plan to go over your personal health history, possible counter indications, and individual needs.
Maintaining Skin Health
Even with a host of fantastic treatments that give us the chance to revive skin post-summer, skin care can’t and shouldn’t stop there. Remember that even on cloudy or cooler days it’s always important to wear a topical antioxidant and sunscreen and never take good skin health for granted – it’s worth it!