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How to Treat and Prevent Sun Damage for a Radiant, Post-Summer Glow

As the summer fades into fall, you’re left with lasting memories, tanned skin, and lots of laughs from a wonderful season. And while the sun keeps us warm and smiling, it can also leave its mark through uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, sunspots, and even premature signs of aging.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are some of the best treatments to try that will give you a refreshed, radiant glow post-summer, plus some tips on preventative measures to keep sun damage at bay.

What Is Sun-Damaged Skin?

While soaking up some sun can be a good thing (hello Vitamin D!), over time, too much sun exposure without proper protection can cause significant damage to the skin.

The heat from the sun dries out unprotected skin and drains your skin of its natural lubricating oils. And even worse, intense UVA and UVB rays result in sunburns, sun damage, and long-term changes in the skin’s structure.

Signs of Sun-Damage

Wondering whether or not you have fallen victim to the sun’s harmful rays and have developed skin damage?

That dark, bronzed tan you worked so hard for over the summer is a good indication that you have at least some level of sun damage. The reason for this is that when you spend long periods out in the sun without protection, a chemical is released in your body associated with melanin. This then darkens your skin in an effort to protect it.

Other signs of sun damage include:

  • Dark spots on the skin (also known as sunspots)
  • Blotchy patches of skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Moles
  • Freckles
  • Actinic cheilitis (dry, scaly, split lips)
  • Rosacea
  • Skin discoloration
  • Thickened skin texture

Long-Term Vs Short-Term Effects

While your tan may start to fade by the fall, sun exposure can have some serious long-term consequences that can affect the health and overall state of your skin.

Some of these long-term consequences of sun exposure include dull and uneven skin tone, rosacea, and dark spots.

Sun damage can also result in long-term changes in the skin’s collagen, resulting in fine lines, deep wrinkles, thickened skin texture, and easy bruising.

Another serious side effect of sun damage that has long-term effects is skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.

The more short-term effects of sun damage include dry, flaky skin, and sunburn.

Is It Reversible?

Yes! Thanks to advancements in skin care treatments, there are a variety of treatment options to help reduce the appearance of certain types of sun damage such as dry skin, dark spots, wrinkles, and discolouration.

Treatments Available

VISIA: The Future of Skincare

Sometimes, having sun damage is not completely obvious, so it can be helpful to get a deep analysis of your skin to get a peek at what’s lurking under the surface. This is where the VISIA Complexion Analysis comes in.

VISIA is an in-depth imaging system that provides you with a deep analysis of your unique facial characteristics and the overall condition of your skin.

The VISIA system offers a multi-dimensional portrait of your complexion, which can be used by skin care professionals to make recommendations for treatments.


Laser therapy is a great option for turning back the clock on sun damage, particularly, the PicoSure Focus Skin Revitalization.

PicoSure is a breakthrough laser technology that targets and eliminates unwanted pigment in the skin by delivering ultra-short pulse bursts of energy to the skin in trillionths of a second without harming the surrounding skin.

Within just a few treatments, brown spots, freckles, and other forms of sun damage will become much less visible, leaving behind a clearer complexion.


Microdermabrasion is less invasive than other procedures and focusses on deep exfoliation to help improve your skin’s texture and appearance.

The treatment uses tiny, micro crystals to gently abrade the surface of the skin, slough away the outermost layer of dead skin cells, and reveal smoother, more youthful, glowing skin.

Microdermabrasion also helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, dry skin, and uneven pigmentation.


Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is an innovative treatment that rejuvenates the skin while reducing the appearance wrinkles and discolouration in as little as 30 minutes.

Microneedling uses several tiny needles to prick the skin and create micro-injuries. These micro-injuries trigger collagen production as your skin works to repair itself, therefore reducing the appearance of scars, lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

IPL Limelight Photofacial

This non-invasive intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial is perfect for those with sun-damaged skin as it specifically targets redness, sunspots, and other sun-related damage.

The treatment works by delivering IPL to the target area, helping to eliminate brown pigments from sunspots and other red pigments in your skin.

IPL also triggers your body’s natural healing response, which helps promote increased collagen production, allowing your skin to produce new healthy cells and resulting in a rejuvenated complexion.

IPL Icon

The IPL ICON is similar to the photofacial mentioned above and delivers intense pulsed light directly into the lower layers of skin in order to treat damaged skin.

This light is converted to heat energy that damages discoloured skin cells and causes them to break down. Eventually, these cells are filtered out through your body’s natural healing process.

ICON Non-Ablative Fractional Laser

The ICON Non-Ablative Fractional Laser is a laser therapy treatment that helps rejuvenate your skin by targeting certain areas using a specialized device.

This device is unique in the sense that it has the ability to divide a laser beam into thousands of treatment zones, allowing the beam to target just a fraction of your skin.

The end result is improved tone, texture, and reduced discolouration, sun damage, and wrinkles.

Chemical Peel

This treatment is designed to exfoliate and smooth the skin, soften lines and wrinkles, and provide a more youthful complexion.

Chemical peels use a chemical solution that removes the outer layer of skin. The new skin that replaces it will be smoother and have fewer wrinkles, helping to improve the appearance of sun damage.

Pure Vitamin C Infusion Facial

This facial is a gentler treatment that works well for both pre-and post-sun exposed skin.

Vitamin C helps to restore clarity and firmness, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone.

Preventing Sun Damage

Prevention is always the best medicine, so it’s important to take active steps to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun and prevent sun damage from occurring in the first place.

Here are some of the best preventative measures for avoiding sun damage, along with some tips for treating it at home.

Use SPF Every Day

Even if you are not sitting outside roasting in the sun all day, it’s important to always apply an SPF to the face along with any exposed skin when spending time outdoors to prevent sun damage. Because contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a sunburn to have sun damage.

Some brands we recommend that can be purchased at SKINS include Dermalogica, AlumierMD, and GM Collin.

Use Products with Ingredients That Reverse Sun Damage

Besides just specialized treatments, using products that contain the following ingredients can also help to reduce the appearance of sun damage:

  • Niacinamide
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Topical retinols
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Ipha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)


Exfoliating your skin will help to slough away old skin, leaving behind a smoother complexion with improved skin texture and appearance.

Keep Skin Hydrated

One of the first signs that you got a bit too much sun is dry skin, so it’s important to keep your skin hydrated by using a moisturizer twice a day.

At the end of the day, the best way to treat sun damage is to avoid it in the first place. Always take extra precautions when spending time out in the sun by using SPF, keeping yourself covered up, and not spending too much time outdoors in the summer heat. But in the event that you find yourself enjoying a bit too much sun throughout the summer, visit the experts at SKINS to help restore your complexion and achieve a youthful glow.