What really happens to my skin in the sun? Can the damage be reversed?

posted October 7, 2015, 12:18 PM

We hear it all the time; put on your sun screen, the sun damages your skin, the sun ages you, etc… Yes, we hear it, but do we understand it? What is really happening to my skin when it is exposed to the sun?

Sunlight contains UV (ultra violet) rays. While these UV rays tan our skin and give us a nice, healthy, summer glow, the long term effects are harmful. Over time, UV rays break down the fibers in our skin known as elastin. Elastin is what keeps our skin firm. As it breaks down, we see sagging and yes, wrinkles.

In addition, the damage done to our skin weakens it, thins it, making it more susceptible to bruising and tearing. A simple wipe of a washcloth over your face can create a cut in your skin. That is from sun damage.

Other damage can include freckling, other brown/sun/age spots, uneven skin tone (hyper pigmentation), dilation of small blood vessels under the skin (telangiectasias), and of course, skin cancer.

The question then becomes, can any of this be reversed? The answer is yes. There are a variety of procedures that can be performed to reverse this sun damage. The great thing is that some of them actually use the self-repair mechanisms inside our own bodies to do the repairs. Below are just two examples.

IPL (intense pulsed light) uses photo rejuvenation to treat damage like hyper pigmentation, broken capillaries, sun spots and freckles. The pulses of light pass through the skin and are absorbed by either the hemoglobin (redness of broken capillaries) or melanin (brown appearance). They damage the tiny blood vessels or break up the melanin which are then absorbed by the body and flushed from your system naturally. Typically a series of IPL treatments are needed for full, desired results.

Microneedling (SkinPen) is a relatively simple concept in skin repair. Once again, it relies on your own body to trigger self-repair by using very fine needles to create a series of controlled, microscopic “injuries” to the skin. Once “injured”, your body goes to work by manufacturing new collagen and elastin, filling in these tiny channels, thus firming and bringing back elasticity to your skin. The result is smoother skin and less wrinkles!  Like IPL, a series of treatments is usually needed to see the desired result.

While there are solutions to sun damaged skin, the safest bet and preventative is to use a good sun screen. If you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and sun bathed with baby oil, you may be all too familiar with what we just covered. Never fear! Solutions are here!

READY TO LOOK & FEEL amazing? we’d love to meet you!


In your 30's?: It is time to start thinking about slowing down the signs of pre-aging. In your 30's, your face is in the beginning phase of starting to lose collagen. Fine lines are beginning to appear and the skin is starting to have a dull appearance. Under eye circles become more prominent at this age due to lack of sleep. Our 30 year package rebuilds collagen, smooths out fine lines and gives your skin back it's brightness. In your 40's?: In this phase of your life, lots of happiness, smiling and laughing have brought lines around your mouth and eyes. Estrogen levels decrease, therefore decreasing collagen levels and thinning of your skin which makes you more prone to wrinkling. Freckles you thought were cute when you were younger are molding together to make age spots. Our 40 year plan is designed to remove age spots, tighten skin and improve your skin's texture. Are you 50+?: As you advance beyond 50, your face is showing the signs of a well-lived life. You may see deeper wrinkles and hollowness in your cheeks and around your eyes. Signs of menopause are drying out your skin and making it more sensitive. Our 50+ package improves collagen, texture, pigment, deep wrinkling and brightness of your skin.