Now that Summer is over, what should you do to fix all that sun damage?


Most of us experienced quite a hot summer in 2013. Now that it is over, what are you doing about all that new skin exposure and aging? If you are smart, you are going to try and reverse some of the damage! Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Hydrate and Moisturize - It is important to make sure that you are drinking enough water to keep the cells in your skin plump and healthy. Moisturizer, when used properly, serves to seal in this moisture and maximize water retention in the skin.

2. Sunblock - I am a big fan of using full spectrum sunblock. You should make sure you maximize block of UVA and UVB. In most areas of the country, an SPF of 30, should be enough protection. Here is Denver, Colorado, I recommend use of at least an SPF of 50, because of the greater intensity of the sun up at “Mile High” altitudes.

3. Retinols - I LOVE retinols. Retinols are Vitamin A derivates in cream or gel form that you put on your skin every night to regenerate and improve all the layers of your skin. As you get older and experience more skin damage, the epidermis (outer layer) of your skin gets thicker and uneven, while the dermis (inner layer, strength layer) gets thinned out. This leads to older looking skin with wrinkles and volume loss. Retinols (eg. Retin-A) reverse this process. If you love the sun, then avoid retinols, as they make you more sun sensitive. Also, the reversal lasts only as long as you use this product, so make sure to stay in it for the long haul!

4. Skin procedures - To make a bigger dent in the aging your face experienced this Summer, I would recommend looking into non-invasive or minimally invasive skin procedures to remove some of the damage. A common procedure with no downtime is microdermabrasion. This procedure uses crystals or water to pressure exfoliate the top layers of skin. What you get is a polished refreshed look to the skin. This procedure is gentle enough to reperform on a monthly basis. Another procedure that is a particular favorite of mine is the chemical peel. Chemical peels use organic acids like glycolic, salicylic, and TCA to peel of layers of skin to depths greater than microdermabrasion. Typically, patients will need 2-5 days downtime, but the results are typically outstanding. Finally, when patients want the greatest amount of change and downtime is no matter, I recommend the use of fractional laser resurfacing. The gold standard is the use of fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. With this technology, you are basically creating a computer-controlled “sun burn” of the face using laser energy instead of UV radiation.  Skin tightening and complexion improvements are the result.

If you would like to learn more about after Summer skincare, please call Jenny at (303) 708-8234 to make an appointment to speak with me.

Article by
Denver Plastic Surgeon