Having a gorgeous tan always feels great, but it's temporary. The sun damage that comes from a tan or sun exposure without SPF, however, is long term and almost always permanent. While we can't go back in time and put on sunscreen, we can invest in an arsenal of products that will make our skin look like it once did. With the help of the best products for sun-damaged skin, it's possible to clear up some of the reminders we have on our faces and bodies from days of forgotten sunscreen and tanning oil. But first, it helps to know what sun damage is.
What is sun damage?
We're all familiar with sunburns, sun rashes, and even sun poisoning, but what about the more permanent damage that is left after the redness subsides and the tan fades? There are many different forms of sun damage, but below are some of the more common ones, especially for women over 50.
- Crow's feet: Also known as laugh lines, these small wrinkles that frame the corners of your eyes come from long-term sun exposure and squinting. Smile lines can also develop around your mouth.
- Sun spots: These dark-colored spots — also referred to as age spots or liver spots — are cousins to freckles, but they typically develop after you hit your thirties. They also don't fade as easily as their minor counterparts.
- Wrinkles: One of the main causes of wrinkles is the sun. Prolonged exposure without SPF can cause wrinkles and fine lines develop prematurely.
- Moles and freckles: Formed from clumps of cells, these dots can grow darker after sun exposure. They're usually harmless, but you should have a doctor routinely check them for cancer.
- Dryness and eczema: The sun can be very drying for your skin, especially when it's already lacking hydration and proper protection. Eczema can also be exacerbated from sun exposure and a sun allergy.
- Hyperpigmentation: Long periods of time in the sun can lead to permanent color on your face. This can manifest as freckles and moles or sun spots and large patches of darkened skin.
How does sun damage skin?
When UVB and UVA rays come in contact with our skin, the body's melanin can develop into things like moles, sun spots, and melasma. UV rays also create free radicals, which damage living cells. While your body uses antioxidants to fight off free radicals, long-term damage causes premature aging, deep lines, and wrinkles.
Can sun damage be reversed?
While you can't erase every last trace of sun damage, you'd be surprised at how much your skin can transform with the right products and choices. The big one to remember? Always apply and reapply SPF daily. Whether it's snowing outside or sweltering, sunblock will prevent sun damage, which can be a heck of a lot easier than reversing it!
If you already have sun damage, there are plenty of options that can help fix it. Exfoliating every three to four days can be beneficial for getting rid of dead skin and hyperpigmentation as well as revealing new, healthy skin. Staying hydrated will also aid in preventing and reducing these issues. To top it all off, throwing in high-quality skincare products formulated specifically for sun-damaged skin into your routine can be a huge help.
Best Products for Sun Damaged Skin
From creams and oils to lotions and overnight facials, treating sun damage is much easier than it used to be. Keep scrolling to shop Woman's World's picks for the best products for sun damage that'll help erase, brighten, and smooth your complexion.
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