The sun is the skin’s worst enemy and causes premature aging if it is not looked after and protected. Even after spending time in the sun with protection, we need to think about using products to heal and repair the skin to delay the signs of ageing.

We often think about healing and repairing our facial skin, but what about the body? As soon as there is a glimmer of sunshine and it’s warm enough, people will expose parts of their body that the sun hasn’t seen in a while. This skin is particularly vulnerable to sun damage after exposure and will need just as much attention as the face. Body skin can include, stomach, back and thighs.  If the skin has been burnt by the sun, then it will need special attention to help reduce the risk of further damage and skin cancer.

Remember that the UV rays are intensified up to 20% when the skin is in water or sitting under/ near a window. It’s not only the sun that can damage the skin but salt water too, if exposed to it for long enough. A combination of sun, sea water, chlorine, and sand can dry the skin and leave it feeling rough, dehydrated and tight.

The most potent ingredient is Vitamin C as this will heal and repair the skin from the dermal layers, however we need to be ingesting Vitamin C as well as applying it to our skin. Ideally the customer should be taking a Vitamin C supplement all year round as this will help to reduce cough/cold infections, increase collagenesis (building of new collagen in the skin) as well as heal and repair the skin from the inside out.

It is also suggested that clients take an Omega 3 supplement to keep the skin supple and hydrated from the inside out, especially peri-menopausal and menopausal women as their skin will naturally start to dry out as they get older and the Omega 3 is good for the skin as well as the mind as it helps to reduce depression and mood swings!  

Here are some other superior ingredients that help to heal and repair sun damaged skin:

Hyaluronic Acid:

Our body produces this naturally and it is found in high concentrations in the joints and in the eyes. It is also found in the basal layer of the epidermis and the extra cellular matrix (ECM) in the dermis.  The function of Hyaluronic Acid is to keep the collagen fibres lubricated and supple. Without it collagen and the ECM becomes weak and brittle and the fibres start to break, therefore contributing to the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid has the amazing ability to retain water in the skin and can hold up to 1000 times it weight which is why it is used a lot in skin care. It also has the ability to scavenge free radicals and helps the skin to heal when injured. This wonder ingredient has often been referred to as the ‘fountain of youth’ and is found in many anti-aging skin care formulations.

Products containing this hydrating ingredient will certainly help to replace lost HA, hydrate and repair skin and there are many supplements that are available too that would help in promoting more flexible joints as well as supple skin.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E has been used in skin care for so long that it often gets overlooked when other more exotic sounding ingredients come along, yet it is one of the most natural anti-oxidants around and is an extremely versatile ingredient.

Vitamin E helps to neutralise free radicals, and repair cell damage as well as reducing ROS (reactive oxygen species) and is effective in reducing environmental damage on the cells, such as pollution and UV damage. Vitamin E works well when combined with other anti-oxidant ingredients especially Vitamin C and Co-enzyme Q10, this versatile ingredient can also help to reduce pigmentation spots and is an effective treatment for dry skin. It is especially nourishing and hydrating for weathered skin types. Some people can be sensitive to Vitamin E however this is considered a rarity.

Co-Enzyme Q10:

This supercharged enzyme is naturally made in the body and starts to decrease as we age. It is an anti-oxidant and is needed for basic cell function. Co-Q10 gives the cells ‘spark’ and kicks them into functioning properly. Some of the benefits of Co-Q10 include, protection against photo aging, stimulates cell activity and stimulates collagen production.

Co-Q10 is also available as an oral supplement. As we get older our natural resources of Co-Q10 start to deplete and taking a supplement can help to increase our levels of this amazing little enzyme. It works best when combined with Vitamin E or used in a skin care preparation containing Vitamin E.

Vitamin A:

There are lots of different forms of Vitamin A that are used in skin care preparations which can help correct cell function.  Vitamin A has lots of benefits. It can also help in exfoliating the skin, repairs epidermal cells, reduces pigmentation and improves hydration in the skin as well as offering some limited UV protection for the skin. When combined with Vitamin E it can help in wound healing. If used regularly it can thicken the epidermis.


Calendula:

Calendula is more commonly known as marigold. It has wonderful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and is often used in preparations for sunburn, rashes and insect bites. It can also help to soothe mild contact dermatitis and aid the healing process of the skin and is especially effective when combined with Vitamin E.

Therefore if you want to maintain, nourish and hydrate the skin after the summer months, any product containing these ingredients will be especially beneficial for increasing skin hydration and keeping the aging process at bay, for a little longer at least.

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