Summer's coming (and not a moment too soon, if you ask us). Soon, we'll be soaking up the sun by the beach or pool, biking our way through town and grabbing every opportunity for a backyard barbecue with friends or playing frisbee at the park. Summer's the season for outdoor adventure and fun and we plan to make the most of it!
But the warm kiss of the sun on your skin will leave you with more than a string of fun memories in your heart. It'll also mark your skin with deep wrinkles and pesky dark spots – not the kind of memento you'd want to keep around! You can't give up your fun in the sun, either though. What's a outdoorsy person to do?
Sun damage is a pain. The wrinkles, sagging and sun spots it inevitably brings with it can make you look and feel old before your time. But, you're not helpless against it. With the right allies, you can prevent the bulk of the damage and soothe the rest, keeping your face clear and wrinkle-free for longer while making the most of what the hot season has to offer.
Interested? Here are the top 5 ingredients you should include in your skincare routine to prevent and treat sun damage:
- Glycolic Acid: Best For Exfoliation
Glycolic acid is the most famous member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family, a group of exfoliants derived from fruits and sugar cane. All AHAs work the same way: they dissolve the “glue” that holds skin cells together, so that the oldest, darkest, most damaged ones can slough off. In their place, newer, brighter and more even toned cells appear. This, alone, is enough to help you fade premature wrinkles and sun spots.
Glycolic acid goes one step further than its siblings. It also boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps your skin firm. Collagen is one of the first things UV rays destroy. Without it, your skin inevitably starts to sag and wrinkle. Glycolic acid amps up its production, keeping new wrinkles away for longer.
How to use it: Glycolic acids, like all exfoliants, can be irritating if used too often. To get the most out of it, start by using it at a small concentration two or three times a week.
- Green Tea: Best For Soothing Sun Damage
Green tea is an acquired taste, but, once it's had a sip, your skin can't get enough of it. This anti-aging tea is made by steaming and drying the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub that grows widely throughout Asia. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants – polyphenols, to be precise. Polyphenols are handy multitaskers that fight the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles, prevent UV rays from destroying the collagen and enzymes naturally present in your skin and soothe the inflammation and redness that always appears on your face after you've lingered too long in the sun. It basically boosts your natural defences against the sun. When its ray hit your face, they won't be able to wreak much damage anymore.
How to use it: morning, night, 365/7. The more green tea you feed your skin, the happier it is.
- Vitamin C: Best For Boosting Collagen
Vitamin C ain't just for colds. This kickass antioxidant gets your skin rid of sun damage in three different ways. One: it patrols the skin for any traces of sun-induced free radicals, destroying each and every one it spots. Two: it speeds up your skin's natural exfoliating process, helping those sun spots disappear faster. Three: it makes your skin produce more collagen, keeping it firm and wrinkle-free. Vitamin C works even better when it comes together with his besties, vitamin E and ferulic acid. This trio of superheroes boosts the protection of your sunscreen, too. Beware, UV rays!
How to use it: in the morning before sunscreen. If your skin's sensitive, go gently and use it only a couple of times a week at the beginning. Let your skin get used to it before upping frequency.
Where to find it: Super-C 20% Vitamin C Serum High Potency C+E+Ferulic, EGF & Matrixyl 3000
- Retinol: Best For Wrinkles
If the sun has already left wrinkles on your face, there's no time to lose. Send out an SOS to retinol, pronto! This form of vitamin A is your most powerful ally against those pesky lines. Science is clear: retinol CAN reduce wrinkles. That's because it boosts the production of collagen and speeds up cellular turnover (the skin's renewal process). Together with wrinkles, dark spots disappear, too. While it's at it, retinol also prevents new wrinkles from forming. Seriously, is there anything it can't do?
How to use it: retinol can be irritating to some people. Babyface uses encapsulated retinol, so it is typically not irritating, but if you have sensitive skin start with using it every other day until skin gets used to it.
- Bearberry: Best For Dark Spots
If there's anything worse than wrinkles (can there be anything worse than wrinkles?), dark spots are it. Once they appear on the skin, it seems there's no way to remove them completely. Enter bearberry. Derived from the leaves of the Uva Ursi plant, bearberry extract is a natural source of arbutin, a natural skin lightener. It reduces the production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its darker color. Once the skin stops producing it, the spot eventually wears off. Bonus points: it has antioxidant properties that keep wrinkles well away from your skin.
How to use it: pure bearberry extract is very powerful and could cause uneven fading. The last thing you want is to create a new dark patch while trying to lighten an old one. For best results, dilute with your fave lotion or moisturizer.
Where to find it: Pure Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi) Extract For Skin Lightening
Ready for your most carefree summer ever? Grab your sunblock and enjoy!