How to Repair Sun-Damaged Skin

Summer is over but the effects on your skin can remain.

As the days continue to get shorter, there is a plus side: fewer opportunities for sun damage. Though winter has its own way of wreaking havoc on your skin, there is nothing quite like UV rays from the sun to speed up the aging process. Luckily, there are plenty of methods to help stop the damage that being out in the sun can cause. Dr. Paul Stainislaw, the founder of Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Avon, Connecticut, shared with us the most effective noninvasive treatments for brides-to-be, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride or groom, and anyone else who may want to repair sun-damaged skin. 

non-invasive procedures for anti-aging and repairing su
Photo by Parker J Pfister

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels offer one option for repairing skin ruined by summer rays. A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is used to smooth your skin’s texture through the removal of the damaged outer layers of the skin. Even though they are primarily used on the face, mild chemical or enzyme peels are also effective in improving the skin on your hands and neck. A peel is one of the least invasive of all cosmetic procedures for skin improvement and can treat uneven skin tones, wrinkles, spots, or scars due to acne, aging, or sun exposure.

Retin-A

There are more than 15,000 clinical documents supporting the effectiveness of Retin-A and this particular treatment minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and addresses hyper-pigmentation by accelerating cellular turnover. “Our cellular turnover slows down as we age. Retin-A awakens your cells and accelerates that turn over,” explains Dr. Stanislaw.  “Everyone should use Retin-A and a good sunblock.” Another major benefit of Retin-A is that it is known to convert pre-cancerous skin cells to normal skin cells. It comes in non-prescription and prescription strengths and is known by a variety of names such as: Tretinoin, Retinol, Renova, Avage, and Tazorac.

IPL (Intense Pulse Light)

IPL, or Intense Pulse Light, is a form of laser light therapy that is used to heat and destroy visible blood vessels and lesions on the skin. Four broadband filters can be applied to the precision laser to target specific concerns, such as active acne, pigmented lesions (brown spots), red spots, and rosacea. It can be repeated at specific intervals until the desired appearance is achieved. “It’s important to ensure laser services are rendered by a skilled medical professional trained specifically to perform these procedures,” notes Dr. Stanislaw. Lasers can be very dangerous and can cause permanent injuries to the skin and eyes when used incorrectly. Choosing the right provider is imperative for safety and the best aesthetic outcomes.

CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy)

Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), also known as microneedling, is an FDA-approved treatment that utilizes your body’s natural healing process to rejuvenate your skin. CIT utilizes microneedles that penetrate the skin’s surface, resulting in a tiny wound that is not noticed by the naked eye. Although this wound is minuscule, it stimulates the body’s natural healing process and causes fibroblasts to produce more collagen in the skin. The fibroblasts then turn into myofibroblasts (or muscle fibroblasts), which pull on the collagen and tighten the skin. These two components are necessary for restoring new and healthy skin. Additionally, there is no removal or significant damage to existing collagen of the skin, so the new collagen increases existing levels. Over time, patients see an improvement in the suppleness, thickness, and general condition of their skin. Generally, a course of six treatments is recommended with three- to five-week intervals for optimal results. However, this is customized based on your specific cosmetic concerns and your skin type.

For more tips, find out how to have a minimalist wedding-day look and which beauty mistakes brides should avoid

Authored by: Emily Lasnier