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Too Much Sun? Here’s How To Repair The Damage

Summer’s here, so you know what that means: The sun’s out and so is your skin. And while it’s easy to get caught up with the carefree nature of the season, it’s also important to protect yourself from the dangers of those UV rays.

While the most obvious sign you’ve been getting too much sun is a burn, there are actually a host of other issues that can happen both immediately and well after those balmy breezes turn frigid. And some of the effects might surprise you.

Sure, SPF is key to guarding against skin cancer and burns, but sun exposure, be it one hour or six, can still cause issues like breakouts and dark spots — and the more of it you get, the worse those problems will be.

To help make sense of what type of havoc the sun is wreaking on your skin, we spoke to Dr. Janelle Vega, M.D to learn what you can do to protect and repair UV damage.

If you already suffer from hyperpigmentation, being in the sun for any amount of time can trigger and often worsen the condition. You can blame that on melanin, the natural pigment of your skin. Dr. Vega, says that the body reacts as such: “It’s like, ‘okay, I’m getting sun, how do I protect myself? Let’s get darker.’ Because the melanin is protective, it creates almost like an umbrella for the cells… It’s your body trying to defend itself from an attack.” When that production ramps up, it causes skin to get darker, either all over or in concentrated spots. A more mild form of this kind of immediate pigment release also comes in the form of freckling on the body, which “is going to come out to the surface and be more visible with immediate sun exposure,” Dr. Vega explains.

Sunscreen is crucial to make sure hyperpigmentation doesn’t worsen (a favorite of ours is the Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+), but once the damage is done, there are ways to help lighten unwanted spots. Dr. Vega recommends reaching for products that contain brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, antioxidants, and a gentle exfoliating acid like an AHA or BHA—three things that the Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Bright Serum is packed with for just that scenario.

Premature Wrinkles
Being in the sun for too long can also affect the texture of the skin. The collagen and elastin in the dermis starts to break down and, “instead of a smooth surface, you start to see pebbling and it looks like a thickening of the skin,” Dr. Vega explains. “It may start off as superficial at first but can become deeper over time from chronic exposure.” The best thing to do in this case is target collagen production with ingredients like retinol, which Dr. Vega refers to as the gold standard approach.

This thickening of skin, along with the clogged pores (not to mention the all that sweat and excess oil the heat brings out), is a one-way ticket to breakout town. Having a product that does a thorough job of cleansing without stripping the skin of its natural oils, something the Glow Recipe’s Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser excels at, is essential. To ensure the pores are extra clean and clear, you can follow it up with a mask that includes detoxifying ingredients like clay or charcoal.

Dr. Vega notes that some people who are prone to getting rashes might see more outbreaks in the summer due to the heat. “Your sweat ducts can become hyperactive,” she notes and lead to the forming of heat rashes. Ditto goes for those with conditions like rosacea, which can also worsen and redden more than usual while out in the sun. Limit your time in the heat and be sure to use products with calming ingredients to soothe and comfort reactive complexions.

In very simple terms, a sunburn typically occurs when the amount of sun exposure overpowers the amount of melanin a person is able to produce (hence why those with fairer skin tend to burn more easily). As Dr. Vega explains, burns typically only last for a couple of days, so a way to reduce redness is by “looking for soothing ingredients.” Hydrocortisone is great “to bring down the inflammation,” she notes. On the natural side, look for ingredients like aloe, or the flower power of antioxidant peony and jasmine extracts — found in the delightfully refreshing and soothing Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer.

For more immediate relief, you can also have some fun and create a makeshift sheet mask by soaking cotton pads in Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist and placing them on your face for 10 minutes. For an even more instant “ahh” effect, pop your mist in the fridge and spritz it on to help cool that flaming feeling.

While the effects of sunburns — the redness, peeling, and potential blistering — may be short-lived, it can also cause major problems in the long run. “One of the major risks for melanoma is a sunburn,” Dr. Vega says. “The more burns you have, the bigger your risk.”

Translation: While it’s key to follow the post-sun tips we’ve listed out, it’s even more important that you take preventative measures from the start in order to protect yourself from the sun. Wear that SPF 50, buy yourself a stylish hat, and keep the outdoor afternoon adventures to a minimum when the sun is at its full intensity.


Glow Recipe

Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser


Glow Recipe

Pineapple-C Bright Serum


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Ultra Fine Mist


Glow Recipe

Pineapple Protection 2-Step Kit


Make P:rem

Blue Ray Sun Gel


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