How To Reverse Visible Summer Sun Damage, According To A Dermatological Nurse

At the end of summer my skin always needs serious rehabilitation. After a season of sunscreen, hydration, sweat, and a vacation life that involves a little more fun than normal, my complexion always needs a makeover. Not only is it time for a thorough cleansing of my precious pores, but it’s also time to do something about the sun damage that has crept into my once-clear complexion.

Age and sun exposure can result in new small freckles, new spots, or darkening of existing melasma, even with fairly strict sun protection. Despite the fact that I’m pretty meticulous about using sunscreen, I still find new damage after just a few months of sun exposure. However, all is not lost.

Megan Cheatham, Aesthetic Nurse at SkinSpirit found that not only can some visible//aesthetic sun damage be reversed or treated, but that there is an option for every budget and problem.

She explained that sun damage to the skin’s surface manifests itself largely as small brown spots, large brown spots, wrinkles, red spots, hypopigmentation (a lighter discoloration of the skin), or hyperpigmentation (a darker discoloration of the skin). Depending on the severity, these issues can be treated with a combination of at-home skin care, chemical peels, lasers, and annual dermatological exams, according to Cheatham.

When it comes to at-home skincare regimens, she recommended checking if you have products with tyrosinase inhibitors, since tyrosinase boosts melanin production.

Common tyrosinase inhibitors are:

The combination of lasers and tyrosinase inhibitors is the best choice for sun-exposed skin, Cheatham said. “Laser treatments like Sciton Broad Band Light, [a treatment that uses light energy to boost the production of elastin and collagen], can also promote melanin reduction. Chemical peels will also help reduce the appearance of sun damage and promote new skin and collagen stimulation by removing the top layer of epidermis.”

It’s never too late to start a skincare plan to treat sun damage, and Cheatham encouraged us to consult a dermatologist or beauty specialist to discuss treatment options. Below I’ve rounded up some of the best products for fighting and preventing post-summer sun damage, many of which have been recommended by Cheatham themselves. Get your hands on it and give your skin some much-needed pampering for the months to come.

HuffPost may receive a percentage of purchases made through links on this site. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Subject to price and availability changes.


Murad Rapid Serum to correct dark spots

This is about as strong as it gets without a prescription. Murad’s serum is made with resorcinol and tranexamic acid, as well as glycolic acid, which sloughs away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion.


Paula’s Choice Clinical Discoloration Repair Serum

This lightweight serum gel from Paula’s Choice is rich in tranexamic acid, which visibly fades skin and prevents pigment spots. It also contains Niacinamide to break up visible discoloration and fade brown spots, and Bakuchiol, which can target the underlying causes of discoloration and promote an even and radiant skin tone.


SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 pigment-correcting serum

This brightening serum from SkinMedica helps address issues like discoloration and leave skin glowing, even and healthy, regardless of skin type. Niacinamide and Tetrapeptide-30 help treat and prevent dark spots and other signs of aging and sun damage.


Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36

This tinted mineral sunblock from Alastin protects the skin from sun damage and pollution while giving the skin a beautiful glow.


Revision Skincare C+ correction complex 30%

Get your shine on with this Revision Skincare Complex. Rich in vitamin C, it promotes healthy, youthful skin and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and sun damage. It’s an investment, but your skin will thank you.


Revision Skincare Intellishade Matte Age-Defying Tinted Moisturizer 45 SPF

This tinted moisturizer from Revision Skincare not only offers excellent protection against sun damage, but also hydrates and brightens the skin, leaving it soft and smooth with a perfect matte finish.


Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Flex SPF 50

Even out skin tone and saturate your skin with healthy ingredients with Colorscience’s powerful sunscreen. It’s buildable and has a naturally tinted finish that camouflages imperfections but feels like a second skin.


Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protection SPF 33

Jan Marini’s mineral sunblock offers both UVA and UVB protection and is packed with antioxidants and nourishing ingredients that won’t leave skin oily or greasy.


Colorescience Even Up MultiCorrection Serum

Cheatham also recommended this Colorscience serum, which is lightweight, hydrating, and multitasking. Peptides, ceramides and hyaluronic acid give skin the look of younger, smoother and more hydrated skin, while antioxidants can help reduce the appearance of dark spots, discoloration and more, revealing even-toned skin.

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