Some love summers, some hate summer, but it is that time of the year which provides us ample opportunities to stay outdoors and enjoy the long days and short nights. But this enjoyment comes at a price and it is your skin that takes the toll. Sun exposure subjects your skin to sun damage, but on the same note, avoiding the outdoors altogether is both impractical and nearly impossible. Sun damage can lead to premature aging of skin, wrinkles, marks, dry skin, even skin cancer over time. The hottest season of the year requires careful thought for your skin even as you enjoy the heat and freedom of summer.
Though a little sunshine is required to soak in some vitamins, but the harmful UV rays can be the worst enemy for your skin. The UV rays cause the supportive collagen structure to break down and elastic fibres to weaken, leading to sagging. By practicing careful sun protection year-round, you can prevent further sun damage. Thus, taking preventative measures is crucial in keeping your skin in a good condition. Sangeeta Velaskar, vice president and Head, Medical Services and R&D, Kaya Skin Clinic, recommends a few tips to reverse the damage:
Sunscreen: The end of summer does not mean the end of your sunscreen routine. Up to 80 percent of UV radiation can penetrate light cloud cover which is why applying sunscreen is essential even during monsoon season. This will help prevent further damage to the skin.
Diet: A diet rich in anti-oxidants help reverse sun damage by fighting against the free radicals that cause damage to the skin cells. Ingredients such as berries, citrus fruits and vegetables protect the skin against sun induced allergies and damages. Also, the consumption of green tea helps neutralise free radicals and can even help in preventing wrinkles.
Face repair masks: Indulge in face repair masks containing ingredients such as Arbutin which relieves the skin off the damage, vitamin C extracts that help in even skin tone. Argan oil is also a beneficial ingredient that reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Skin care regime: Besides the regular cleansing-toning-moisturising (CTM) ritual, exfoliation helps in smoothening the skin. Exfoliants remove old, dry, dead skin cells, toxins and other deposits and allow new skin cells to surface. For regular use, rely on exfoliators with botanical extracts. Additionally, incorporating a night cream will enhance the damage reversal process by healing damaged skin. Look out for products containing multi-vitamins, azelaic acid and imperata cylindrica.
Choice of skin care products: Depending on the damage induced by the sun, choose skin care products that effectively tackle the issues. Use a water-based moisturiser to ensure a soothing effect on your skin. If you have sensitive skin, then rely on hypoallergenic products that are alcohol and paraben free.