As much as you try to protect yourself from the sun, you cannot always be entirely prepared and not absorb any ultraviolet rays whatsoever. The sun can severely damage our skin, and even if we don’t always see the effects instantly, over time, our skin will lose elasticity, age faster, get brown spots, sag, and so on. Which is why it makes perfect sense that we should make taking care of our skin a priority. One way to do that is to re-nourish your sun damaged skin every once in a while. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can do that. The even better news is that we are going to discuss the most important ones today. Let’s have a look!
How to Re-Nourish Sun Damaged Skin
Stock up on Sunscreen
We know, we know, it sounds pretty obvious that you should use sunscreen to avoid getting sun damaged skin. However, most people don’t understand some things about sunscreen, so bear with us. For instance, a lot of people stubbornly only use sunscreen when it’s summer and they can feel the sun scorching the earth. Even worse, some only use it when they go to the beach.
Now, what is wrong with this approach? Well, the first error here is thinking that the sun only damages our skin when it is really hot outside. That is absolutely false. The sun can always cause some damage, even if it’s fall and it’s not really sunny outside, or even if it’s summer but it’s a cloudy day. No matter the time of year or the weather conditions, we should take precautions against sun damaged skin by using sunscreen. Remember, there is a difference between a sunburn (which you can only get when you spend a longer period of time under strong rays of sun) and the sun damaging your skin. The damage doesn’t have to be instantly visible to exist.
So what we advise you to do is use sunscreen every single day. This won’t only protect your skin from the sun, but it will also help it heal. Your immune system will be given a boost to work faster and repair some of that sun damaged skin. We recommend an SPF 30 sunscreen lotion. Moreover, carefully check the label for the words “broad-spectrum”. That means that you can also use it to protect you from getting brown spots and wrinkles.
Maybe this doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with repairing sun damaged skin, but it actually does. How, you ask? Well, when you sleep is when your skin is wide awake and working to repair those damaged cells and create new healthy ones. Not to mention getting rid of the old ones. Moreover, whatever lotion or cream you apply to help re-nourish your sun damaged skin will also work better at nighttime. If you are wondering how this is possible, it is because our skin normally gets warmer when we sleep. That causes the lotion to seep into the skin better and work more thoroughly.
Consequently, you should get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. Of course, every person has their own sweet spot when it comes to sleep. But trust us when we tell you that lack of sleep won’t do your skin any justice, on the contrary. If you want to help your skin re-nourish as much as possible, remember to rest properly.
Take Some Vitamins
Vitamins are a great way to help your sun damaged skin regain its health, youth, and elasticity. However, not all vitamins are effective in this way. Let us recommend vitamin A, since it contains retinoids. Retinoids are great for a lot of things, including minimizing pores, smoothing some of the lines on your face, and even fading some spots that might be darker than your usual complexion. Here is where you have to pay attention. Retinoids are effective only if you take them at night, since the sun nullifies their effects. So this is yet another benefit of nighttime.
What you can do is contact your physician. He or she can recommend you some retinoids and tell you how to include them into your day-to-day routine. You will probably be advised to find a way to incorporate them into your skin care rituals, since otherwise they could irritate your skin.
Vitamin A is not the only hero of the story. Vitamin C can also help you take care of your sun damaged skin, since it is an antioxidant. You can find creams infused with vitamin C and that you can apply during the day, as opposed to retinoids. They will protect your skin’s elastin and collagen, which are what keeps your skin supple and firm. Vitamin C also helps slow down the aging process and the signs accompanying it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Break a Sweat
Yes, exercising is another awesome way in which you can give your sun damaged skin a health boost. That is because whenever you exercise, you increase your blood flow and heart rate. At the same time, this delivers some extra nutrients to your cells. Consequently, some of the damage caused by the sun will get repaired, and part of the skin aging process will get undone.
The advantages of exercising for a healthier, nicer looking skin do not stop here. Breaking a sweat also helps tone your skin and make it firmer. Moreover, you will keep your weight in check, which not only makes you a healthier person, but also helps your skin. How, you ask? By not allowing your skin’s support structure to get weaker because of extra weight, which would normally cause sagging.
Adjust Your Nutrition
We couldn’t talk about ways to re-nourish your sun damaged skin without mentioning a proper nutrition. Not only is a healthy nutrition overall beneficial, but it can also help you a great deal when it comes to the health of your skin. If you are dealing with sun damage, we recommend you to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Here are some really great examples: broccoli, strawberries, leafy greens, tomatoes, or oranges. At the same time, we should mention that it would be best for you to avoid dairy products, meat (especially processed) and sugar.
Try to integrate olive oil into your cooking routine instead of sunflower oil. Moreover, try to consume more fish, seeds, and nuts, since they are great for skin moisturizing. We’ve already mentioned antioxidants, haven’t we? Well, you can also benefit from them in your diet, if you consume green tea or cocoa for instance.
Lower Your Alcohol Intake
It is true that alcohol also contains antioxidants, but it is equally true that it contains a lot of sugar as well. If you usually consume a lot of alcohol, you will inevitably also consume large amounts of sugar. This will start a process which is called glycation and which is extremely damaging to your elastin and collagen levels. Sugar will also make your skin less hydrated, which might result in more noticeable wrinkles, as well as visible capillaries all over your face.
Now, we don’t mean cut out alcohol entirely. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it also benefits your skin and keeps it away from sun damage. So in small quantities, it is actually recommendable. However, if you consume more than one or two glasses of alcohol every day, we at least suggest you to drink a glass of water in between the glasses of alcohol. This will help reduce some of the damage.
Beware of Stress
Finally, the last thing you should be aware (and beware) of is stress and how it can further affect your sun damaged skin. When you are under a lot of stress, your body increases its cortisol level, which prevents your skin from retaining the amount of water it actually needs. Furthermore, your blood sugar will also spike when you’re confronted with stressful situations. This damages your skin’s production of elastin and collagen. So what we advise you to do is try to keep stress in check by trying all sorts of relaxation techniques. Take a yoga class or try meditating at home. Whatever works best for you will also work wonders for your skin.
What Is the Bottom Line?
To sum up this extensive guide to some of the best ways to help re-nourish your sun damaged skin, we would like to stress once more the fact that our skin needs constant protection from the sun. Always keep an SPF 30 sunscreen lotion at hand and use it generously whenever you feel like you need some extra protection. If you do that, and you also follow our advice on how to help your skin repair sun damage, you shouldn’t worry about your skin looking wrinkly or old any time soon.