Sun Damaged Skin: What It Is and How to Treat It

Sun Damaged Skin: What It Is and How to Treat It

If you're experiencing premature wrinkling, pigmentation changes, or uneven and scaly skin texture, you may have fallen victim to the sun's ultraviolet rays. It's no secret the sun can take a serious toll on your skin. While it seems like a few hours of unprotected sunshine won't do much harm and get you your daily allotment of Vitamin D, it can cause long-term consequences, like skin damage, melanoma, or squamous cell carcinoma.

If you think your skin has been damaged by the sun, there is no need to panic. Nourishing Biologicals is here to inform you about sun damage, ways you can treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again.

What Is Sun Damaged Skin?

Sun-damaged skin occurs when ultraviolet rays penetrate beyond the epidermis layer of the skin. When your skin is left unprotected, the sun can penetrate much easier. These harsh ultraviolet rays cause DNA changes at a cellular level which can leave your skin damaged, no matter what your skin type.

Dermatologists have a few different ways of describing sun-damaged skin. While sun damage is most commonly used, you may also see or hear it as photoaging, photodamage, and solar damage.

Sun damage occurs most often in people that have a bad habit of forgetting their SPF or those who have a lighter skin tone. When the skin is lighter (or paler), the body produces less melanin.

All skin tones are beautiful and require sunscreen every day, but facing the sun unprotected is not for the more fair-skinned.

Effects of UV Light Exposure

When your skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet rays and light, your skin may experience certain side effects of sun damage. Whether you get your daily UV dose from a tanning bed or mother nature, here are some common effects of UV exposure.

Premature aging skin is a sign of sun damage. Some also include wrinkles, leathery skin, sun spots, liver spots (age spots), actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis. UVA and UVB rays can even cause certain skin cancers to occur.

These side effects are self-explanatory, but others may not ring a bell. Let's break down each of these symptoms.

Actinic Keratosis

This effect of UV light exposure is when your skin develops a rough, scaly patch. It's commonly on the lips, ears, forearms, neck, and the back of hands. Actinic keratosis occurs after years of unprotected sun exposure.

Solar Elastosis

Solar elastosis is another form of sun damage. Solar elastosis isn't as common as fine lines and wrinkles or sunspots, but there is still a chance of developing this due to advanced sun damage.

Solar elastosis is a disorder that causes the skin to appear yellow and thickened. This form of sun damage is also known as actinic elastosis and elastosis senilis.

Sun Spots

Sunspots are a common sign of sun damage. Sunspots occur when your body begins to overproduce melanin to protect the skin from the sun's rays.

Sunspots can appear anywhere on the body but are often in areas exposed to the sun the most. Sunspots are smooth dark spots or brown spots. They can vary in size and shape.

It's essential to pay close attention to any lesions on your skin. Sunspots are usually harmless, but sometimes certain precancerous patches can look similar to a harmless sunspot.

Skin Cancers

Being out in the sun often or having suffered from sun damage in the past doesn't mean your will 100% get skin cancer. Skin cancer is common in the United States, with 3.3 million diagnoses each year.

Ultraviolet radiation and harmful UV rays are common causes of skin cancer. With UBA rays and UVB rays penetrating the skin, it damages the skin cells and damages the DNA in the skin.

Premature Wrinkles

Premature wrinkling is a common sign of sun-damaged skin. While it can be frustrating at times, wrinkles are nothing to get upset over — especially when you have a way to combat these unwanted fine lines.

We've got you covered whether your wrinkles appear naturally from age or are thanks to years of fun in the sun.

Our Miracular Face Serum is an ultra-hydrating, plumping serum that visibly reduces the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness for healthier-looking skin.

How Can Sun Damage Cause Wrinkles?

It may be odd to think the sun can cause wrinkles —- yes, the thing that turns you into a tan goddess during the summer. However, it really can!

The sun's UVA and UVB rays are very powerful, and if the skin is left unprotected, the sun's rays can easily penetrate deep into the skin. UV rays can encourage the formation of free radicals; free radicals can damage the skin's elastic fibers.

Elastic fibers are connective tissue but are even thinner than collagens. Collagen production is a vital part of healthy skin.

Can You Treat Sun Damaged Skin?

Considering sun-damaged skin can come in all shapes and sizes, the forms of treatments vary depending on how damaged your skin is and what the side effects are.

Common people combat the side effects of sun-damaged skin using topical treatments and gels, chemical peels, or laser resurfacing treatments. These dermatology treatments work best to temporarily fade discoloration, smooth patchy or rough skin, and shrink pores.

Ways to Avoid Sun Damage

Sun damage isn't always easily treated, so we say it's best to plan on avoiding it altogether. The best way to avoid sun damage is with enough sun protection.

Wear Sunscreen Everyday

While this may be a no-brainer, applying broad-spectrum sunscreen every day is the first step to avoiding sun damage or sunburn.

Sunscreen creams should offer broad-spectrum protection and be SPF 30 or higher (bonus points if your sunscreen contains additions like vitamin A). Take around one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) and apply that to your face and body.

Nourishing Tip: Read the fine print if your moisturizer claims to be over SPF protection. Often moisturizers have SPF but usually only a minimal amount. It may be as low as SPF 15. SPF 15 offers very little protection, so you'll still want to apply your sunscreen.

Reapply Every Few Hours

Applying sunscreen when you first wake up is a great idea — but you should be reapplying it. Sunscreen can easily wash off with sweat or water, so reapplying it is key to protecting your skin.

Opting for a water-resistant sunscreen is a great idea as well. You can use these even if you don't plan to get wet, but sunscreen is good to have on hand for any future pool or beach days.

Seek Shade Often

Even though the feeling of the sun on your cheeks is sometimes needed, you want to be sure not to overdo it. You can 100 percent enjoy the sunshine — just in moderation and when wearing protective clothing for extended periods of sun exposure.

If you plan to be in the sun for most of the day, we suggest seeking shade as often as possible — at least every hour or so.

Caring For Your Skin 101

When it comes to caring for your skin, protecting it from the sun is essential, but it’s just one aspect. There are tons of other ways to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

When you have a good skincare routine with the right products, you may notice a massive difference in your skin's health. While we may be biased, we say you can go wrong with Nourishing Biologicals Miracular Collection.

We want to see your skin as beautiful as possible, showing you how to protect your skin surface from sun damage and letting you in on the little secrets of proper skincare that go down deep.

Nourishing Biologicals is a bio-science company. We are dedicated to creating clean, clinically proven, and sustainable products that treat the cause, not just the symptoms, to advance health and wellness for all.

Our products are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and made in the U.S.

If you’re looking for a way to protect your skin and elevate its health, then our product may serve you well.

Good Bye, Sun Damaged Skin

The sun is powerful, and it can easily damage your skin. There are tons of ways you can help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, but skin health often goes forgotten, especially if you’re outside a ton and don’t burn easily.

Friendly reminder: even if you don’t think you have sunburn, it doesn't mean your skin isn’t damaged. Sun damage can appear in all shapes and sizes, and once it’s there, it can be hard to get rid of.

We say get ahead of the sun damage. Yes, there are ways you can reduce the appearance of already damaged skin, but you might as well always protect your skin and avoid it altogether.


Photoaging (Sun Damage) > Fact Sheets | Yale Medicine

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation |

How does the sun and UV cause cancer? | Cancer Research UK

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