Repair (and Even Reverse) Signs of Sun Damage


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source: http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/anti-aging/repair-and-even-reverse-signs-of-sun-damage

Are you concerned about wrinkles, brown spots, and leathery skin? Following some simple guidelines from The Skin Cancer Foundation can help you repair and possibly even reverse these signs of skin aging, up to 90 percent of which are caused by the sun.

Overexposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light can also lead to skin cancer and precancers like actinic keratoses (AKs). Since sun damage accumulates over time, it’s never too late to start a sun protection regimen.

Although most people know enough to wear sunscreen when the sun is beating down, “Protecting your skin from the sun does not end with the summer months,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, a New York City dermatologist and educational spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation. “By carefully practicing sun protection year-round, you can prevent further sun damage and may even reverse some of the damage already done.”

To help stop or even reverse sun damage to the skin:
1.
Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sunscreen is one of the keys to radiant, youthful-looking skin. Daily use may even lower your long-term risk of skin cancer. By reducing your daily sun exposure, sunscreen allows your skin time to heal and your immune system the chance to repair some existing damage.

2.
Exfoliate. The buildup of stratum corneum (the dead, outermost skin cell layer) can make skin appear blotchy and uneven. Also, remnants of self-tanning products can collect in typically dry areas (such as the elbows), causing the skin to lose its luster and appear “dirty.” Loofahs, scrubs, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)* cleansers, and home microdermabrasion kits (in which tiny crystals are sprayed on the skin) can remove dead skin cells, leaving skin looking smoother.

3.
Bleach the brown spots. Skin lightener does not actually make the skin white; it simply helps to lighten accumulations of unwanted color. Dr. Sarnoff recommends using an over-the-counter product that contains kojic acid in combination with hydroquinone, Retin-A*, and a mild steroid cream, which is useful for stubborn brown spots and blotchy brown discoloration.

4.
Hydrate. Summer exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt water can dry out your skin – even the heels of your feet can be affected. Try a hand and body cream, and, for the heels, a moisturizing foot cream. A moisturizer with AHA or facial serum with hyaluronic acid can plump up dry skin around the eyes, making skin instantly appear less wrinkled. Continued use may help stimulate the production of new collagen, a protein that helps give skin its texture and appearance.

5.
Try a light-emitting diode (LED). Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are electronic light sources, and some home units are available. Dr. Sarnoff recommends a low energy LED called the Tanda, which can help promote collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve acne.

6.
Visit a dermatologist. Professional laser treatments can improve everything from blotchiness and discoloration to wrinkles. Photodynamic therapy – laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) in combination with a topical solution known as Levulan (aminolevulinic acid) – can remove scaly patches of actinic keratoses from your skin.

* These products can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Use with caution! For more information about sun sensitivity, please see this article.

Skin Care by Donna: An Organic Skin Spa
“Devoted to helping you look and feel beautiful!”


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Lighten Dark Spots Naturally


Home remedies for age spots are not overnight successes, and if patience is not a virtue possessed then it may be best to visit your dermatologist for medical treatments.  Home remedies can take from six to eight weeks before results are noticeable.

 

dark spots

 
CITRUS
The simplest is applying a lemon slice directly on the spots you want lightened. Apply up to two times every day. Leave in place for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
A mixture of 1 tsp. each of orange and lime juice with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar can be applied and rinsed the same way.
Citrus applications can dry and irritate your skin after prolonged use. It recommends a quality skin lotion after each rinse.
 Another common food equaling a lemon’s acidity is the red onion. One slice of red onion, rubbed into the skin daily is also touted with natural bleaching abilities for the skin.
 
NATURAL VITAMIN E
Natural Vitamin E consists of several compounds which include alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherol. However, the most important ingredient is alpha-tocopherol due to its antioxidant properties. Alpha-tocopherol had been shown to reduce significantly the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, freckles and dark spots on the skin.

NUTGRASS ROOT

 It is a natural whitening ingredient that can brighten skin effectively by reducing melanin up to 40% without any harmful side effect. Clinical trials have shown that Extrapone nutgrass is effective in reducing freckles and dark spots due to its ability to inhibit the formation of the skin pigment melanin.
 
SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter, if applied in its natural form, on the affected skin area, can be very effective.  In addition to aiding in dark spot removal, shea butter also helps moisturize and hydrate the skin, rejuvenating and refreshing it.  ‘
 
BUTTERMILK
Buttermilk contains a natural bleach that will gradually fade the dark spots on your skin. Buttermilk helps your skin cells regenerate at a faster rate, helping replace the damaged cells in your dark spots and fading their color. Buy buttermilk at the grocery store, soak a cotton ball in the liquid and rub it on your dark spots. Hold the cotton ball on the dark spots for 10 minutes.
 
CHEMICAL PEELS
Try glycolic facials, which are offered by many spas and salons.  These facials help remove ark spots as glycolic acid is the main component used in these facials.  Glycolic acid helps in removing dead cells and the upper layer of the skin, thereby aiding in dark spot removal.  
 
ALPHA HYDROXY/RETINOL
Dermatologists often recommend applying a retinoid or retinol directly on age spots. A prescriptive retinoid is more effective and provides a faster result that the OTC retinol. The spots should diminish or even disappear in a few months.
 
An important drawback is that it also makes skin more susceptible to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which could make your age spots or scars darker. You must stay out of the sun while using lotions formulated with this ingredient to experience optimal fading of skin blemishes.
 
CHINESE HERBS
A natural remedy based on traditional Chinese herb lore is homemade ginsing and gotu kola cream. Mix 1/8 tsp. powdered ginseng root with 1/8 tsp. gotu kola. Moisten the blend with ginseng tea to form a paste. Apply directly on your pigmented spots, then rinse with cool water after 10 to 15 minutes. Use this preparation twice a day. Repeat until you see the degree of lightening you want.
 
Although home remedies are considered safe, there are side effects to be wary of as with any treatment. Natural acids from onion and lemon are completely safe for ingestion and topical application however when used for extended periods of time and in excess, skin burns can occur. Other factors to consider are over bleaching of your skin. This could leave age spots whiter than your other skin once treatment is complete.
 
You may prefer organic products formulated to diminsh dark spots naturally:
https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/skincarebydonna/product/0568/wild-rose-beauty-balm-1-76-oz/?a=12&cat=0&search=rose%20blam
Contains 30% Rose Hip Seed Oil which is a natural retinol.
 
Organic Skin Brighteners
https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/skincarebydonna/product/0037/brightening-serum-1-01fl-oz/?a=12&cat=0&search=brightener
 
https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/skincarebydonna/product/0583/daily-brightening-3-38fl-oz/?a=12&cat=0&search=brightener

Anti-Aging Treatments. What Works?


Anti aging treatments target some of the most unwelcome changes that happen to our faces and bodies as we get older – fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, spider veins and even sagging skin.
Finding the best anti aging treatments is a personal matter depending on what you want to achieve, how much discomfort you are prepared to put up with and last but not least, your budget.
Retinoids
Retinoids have been a breakthrough discovery for the treatment of photoaged skin. Synthetic derivatives of Vitamin A, they can improve discoloration of the skin, degeneration of elastic tissue, and fine wrinkling by enhancing naturally occurring production of collagen and elastic fibers. In addition to giving skin back its youthful appearance, retinoids can inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation, and enhance the immune system. Continuing use of retinoids can reduce the number and size of actinic keratoses. Currently, two retinoids are available in the US for treatment of photoaging: tretinoin (2) and tazarotene. Retinoids can irritate the skin and cause dryness and photosensitivity – an extreme sensitivity to the sun.   You may need to test a few out in order to find which work best for you.
Chemical peels
Chemical peels are often used to rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles, and treat actinic keratoses. A doctor removes layers of skin with a mild acid solution.Depending on the damage, a light, medium, or deep peel is used. After the skin heals, a smoother, younger-looking outer layer forms. Light peels usually result in only a slight redness and photosensitivity, but deeper peels can result in significant swelling, redness, and photosensitivity that lasts for several weeks.

Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion uses a small high-speed, rotating metal brush or file to abrade the upper layers of the skin and smooth out surface irregularities. It is used, often with long-lasting results, for treatment of substantial wrinkling and leathering from the sun, pigmentation problems, and acne scars. Either local or general anesthetic is used during the procedure. Redness, swelling and pain are typical after treatment. Healing can take from 7 to 14 days.

For mild to moderate photoaging, a variation of the technique known as microdermabrasion uses tiny particles that pass through a vacuum tube to gently scrape away aging skin and stimulate new cell growth. Mild redness is typically the only side effect.

Lasers
Lasers are used to vaporize the skin’s sun-damaged top layer, leaving a softer, smoother skin surface with less pronounced wrinkles. With their pinpoint accuracy, lasers are ideal for sensitive skin areas such as around the eyes. The treatment can result in tenderness, scarring, redness and swelling that can last for several weeks while the new skin grows. Darker-skinned individuals can experience permanent loss of pigmentation.  Lasers can be used for treatment of actinic keratoses, as well.

A new technology called IPL (intense pulsed light) is a non-skin-removing technique (“non-ablative”) that offers patients a softening of lines and shallow wrinkles, fading of some scars, removal of broken capillaries, and stimulation of new collagen growth quickly. After-effects can include swelling, redness, blotchiness, and darkening of pigmented areas. Usually several sessions are needed for optimal results, and the full effects of the treatments may not be visible for up to six months after the final treatment.

LED Light Therapy

LED Light Therapy is the use of light to create an anti-aging effect on the skin and is an energy renewal system for the whole body. It is quickly becoming recognized as one of the safest, fastest, and most affordable ways to achieve younger, more radiant looking skin. It relieves aches and pains, boosts the immune system, increases energy, and reduces mental fatigue and stress. It’s non-invasive, safe for all skin types, builds collagen and elastin, raises serotonin levels and uses no lasers, injections, chemicals or surgery.

Prevention
If you don’t wear a sunscreen every day, today is the day to start. Daily application of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher- whether on its own, or in a moisturizer – will prevent additional damage to your skin. Also, studies have shown that daily use of sunscreen can actually reduce the existing number of actinic keratoses – abnormal skin eruptions, or precancers, that can lead to skin cancer.

 

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