#AskGraydon: Is there a way to heal sun damage after the fact?
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- The basics about sun damage
- How to help soothe sun damage
- How to get glowing skin without the sun
Hi Eunbin, 😍
Before I answer your wonderful question, I just want to say thank you for your support; it truly means so much to me!
Now, let’s get to it.
We’ve all been there—sitting outside on a beautiful, sunny day, sipping a refreshing glass of iced tea, not really thinking about when to reapply the SPF. That evening, after a delightful day of fresh air, you look in the mirror and… YIKES! You see the redness. Suddenly you feel the burning and the itching and the regret for not paying more attention to sun protection.
It happens to the best of us! Maybe even more than once.
Obviously, the best way to prevent sun damage is to avoid the sun. But is that realistic? Probably not. So if you’re heading out under those warm, golden rays, it’s important to take precautions.
- Cover up with light coloured clothing.
- Wear a wide brim hat.
- Slather on that SPF certified sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply as indicated on the product packaging.
As we’ve already discussed, sometimes we get so caught up in outdoor fun that we forget about the damaging effects of too much sun. So is there a way to heal sun damage after the fact?
First, let’s discuss how the sun affects our skin.
The basics about sun damage
While the sun helps our skin to produce vitamin D (which is good), it also exposes us to ultraviolet radiation that can damage our cells (which is bad). The two most common forms of ultraviolet radiation (also known as UV rays) are UVA and UVB.
UVA rays make up 90–95% of the sunlight that reaches Earth(1) and can penetrate deeper layers of the skin. These rays cause immediate tanning effects and are the main culprit of premature skin aging.(2) It’s believed that exposure to UV rays may cause up to 80% of visible signs of aging.(1) This includes dryness, wrinkles and changes in pigmentation.
Before we continue on, I just want to take a quick moment to mention that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that 5–15 minutes of sun exposure on the hands, face and arms two to three times a week during the summer is all we need to keep our vitamin D levels high!(3)
Now, back to it. You’ve far exceeded the recommended amount of sun exposure and you’re left with a sunburn.
How to help soothe sun damage
Unfortunately, even mild sunburns don’t disappear overnight. However, there are some steps that you can take to help soothe the skin and ease the discomfort.
Hydrate your body
Spending hours under the hot sun likely caused more than just a sunburn. Chances are, your body is also dehydrated. In addition, sunburns dry out the skin so it’s important that you replenish your fluids and hydrate your skin from the inside out.
Plain ol’ water is always a classic choice for hydration but if you’re really dehydrated, try something with electrolytes. Coconut water is a great option, but my go to in the summer is maple water.
Cool the area
A quick, cool shower or a cold compress applied to the sunburn can help to diminish excess heat on the skin. Personally, I keep a bottle of Face Food Mineral Mist in the fridge during the summer for just this purpose. Not only does the mist help to cool and hydrate the skin, Face Food is formulated with ingredients that may be beneficial to sun damaged skin.
One of those ingredients is magnesium, which is known to enhance skin hydration, improve skin barrier function and reduce inflammation.(4) Copper is another ingredient in Face Food that may help with sun damage. Studies suggest that copper assists with skin regeneration and helps to inhibit oxidative stress (damage to cells).(5)
Don’t be shy when it comes to using Face Food! Liberally spritz the cooled product all over your sunburn and allow it to soak into the skin.
Moisturize the skin
It’s always important to moisturize your skin but it’s even more crucial to do so after a sunburn. When it comes to sunburns, my go-to moisturizer is Putty. This super soothing moisturizer is formulated with a plethora of superfood ingredients to help nourish the skin and strengthen the skin barrier.
One of the most well-known skin soothing ingredients is colloidal oatmeal. Not only does colloidal oatmeal contain compounds that soothe and calm the skin, it also contains lipids (including omega-3 and 6 fatty acids) that help to nourish the skin barrier. And if that’s not enough, these oats also have compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that can help to calm itching.(6)
Another well-known ingredient in Putty is cocoa butter. This vegetable fat, extracted from cocoa beans, is rich in antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals(7) caused by sun damage. And being a vegetable fat, cocoa butter is obviously rich in fatty acids that deeply hydrate and moisturize the skin, which is oh so important after a sunburn.
Putty is also formulated with chamomile extract. You may be familiar with chamomile as a calming pre-bedtime tea. But chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties that penetrate into deeper layers of the skin.(8) This suggests that chamomile can help to soothe inflammation caused by UV rays.
All of the ingredients in Putty work together to soothe, hydrate and moisturize your skin. Apply liberally and often to provide your skin with the nourishment it needs after excess sun exposure.
One more thing: While most sunburns can be treated at home, if your sunburn starts to blister it’s important to seek the assistance of a medical professional.
How to get glowing skin without the sun
We all want that glowing summer tan look, but tanned skin means sun damaged skin. So how do you get that radiant glow without the sun damage?
Fullmoon Serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid from senna to hydrate the skin and brighten your complexion. Moon Boost Serum contains seven vitamins to nourish and bring out the best in your skin. Face Glow is formulated with sustainably-sourced mica to impart a subtle shimmer.
These products work together to give your skin a radiant look. I use two drops of Fullmoon Serum, two drops of Moon Boost Serum and one pump of Face Glow. I encourage you to modify that combination until you find your perfect Glow Getter Skin Smoothie recipe!
- Exposure to UV rays causes premature signs of aging.
- Always apply a certified SPF as the final step in your morning skincare routine.
- Reapply your SPF regularly during sun exposure.
- If you do get a sunburn: hydrate the body, cool the skin with chilled Face Food Mineral Mist and apply a nutrient-rich moisturizer like Putty.
- Get a sun-kissed glow without damaging UV rays by mixing Fullmoon Serum, Moon Boost Serum and Face Glow to create a Glow Getter Skin Smoothie.
Get glowing skin with Face Glow! Learn more about how the ingredients in our award-winning, multipurpose product nourish your skin and give you a subtle glow.
Main image: Marko_Marcello
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