Like the gift that keeps on givin’, the summertime sun’s effects can be felt long after the autumnal equinox. Knowing about some of the most common kinds of skin repair products can make it easier to choose the right ones for you.
Le sigh… It’s all but inevitable. Last summer, whether you limited your sun exposure to leisurely strolls along sun-dappled sidewalks or spent oodles of hours in direct sunlight by the pool, your skin probably received at least some UV damage (even if you wore SPF 24/7 every day).
Sun protection should be part of every gal’s daily beauty ritual (here’s an old but hopefully helpful MBB post on sunscreen), regardless of the time of year (snowboarding sunburns anyone?), but those sunny summer days and warm water usually lure more of us outside.
Of course, when it comes to the sun, an ounce of prevention is worth 100,000,000 pounds of cure, even in the middle of winter. Religiously applying and reapplying sunscreen and, better yet, reducing your time in the sun are always going to trump trying to repair sun damage after the fact, but if you are concerned about soothing an inflamed sunburn, or about reducing or preventing sun spots, wrinkles or fine lines, post-sun repair products can help.
Major kinds of post-sun repair products
- Soothing products for sunburn/damage relief — These products are supposed to be slathered on right after sun exposure to soothe inflamed and/or irritated skin. Best when they’re super moisturizing, they often contain botanicals like aloe and edelweiss and have anti-inflammatory properties. Many of them also provide a cooling sensation to take the flush out of the face and soothe dilated capillaries.
- (So-called) DNA repair products — As Like the soothing products (and sometimes mixed in with them in some formulas), DNA repair products aim to keep skin working well on a cellular level by helping the body to repair small mutations in DNA caused by UV exposure, before they become bigger problems in the weeks and years ahead.
- Products to reduce the chronic effects of UV exposure — Lastly are products designed to reduce and repair the longer term effects of sun damage, from fine lines and wrinkles, to brown spots, uneven skin tone, scarring and other changes in the texture of the skin.
Source: “When Summer Fades, Skin Concerns Remain,” Abby Penning, GCI Magazine, September 2011
More and more of the sun repair products that are hitting the market nowadays combine multiple benefits, like antioxidants to fight free radicals, with soothing and moisturizing botanicals like aloe. Some of them also offer anti-aging benefits, like diffusing age spots or reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
With summer in our rear view mirrors now, fall is a great time to consider a little post-summertime sun exposure repair. Sure, there’s only so much that can be done about serious sun damage after the fact, but skincare specialist lines like Yves Rocher, Kiehl’s, Dermelect and Darphin do have products designed to help.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. Howzit, brah? How was the rest of your Friday? Mine was busy earlier but slowed down. I’ve been watching a bunch of Tivo’d Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations episodes for the past few hours and drooling in my lap. The one in San Sebastian made me want to plan an emergency trip to Spain (I even checked airfares online…). Can you come with? What are you doing tomorrow??