How to repair sun-damaged skin

Sunburn might fade, but you should never ignore the deeper damage of the sun's harmful rays. 

Oiling up and baking under extreme UV rays may have been desirable decades ago, but you’d be a bit of a silly sausage to fry in the sun these days with the increased risk of skin cancer sweeping the nation.

Us Aussies might be getting better at the old slip, slop, slap, but one in eight adults and one in five teenagers are still scorching their skin. With UV temperatures recorded to have reached ‘very high’ (+8) over summer (and our cooler months predicted to reach record temps), now is the perfect time to start reversing the damage and implementing sun smart regimes.

Preventative measures are one thing, but are there ways to reverse sun damage? One of Australia’s leading beauty experts, Kate Morris, CEO and founder of Adore Beauty, shares her simple yet effective regimes to help repair and rejuvenate sun damaged skin.

Antioxidants are your friend

High-potency serums are fantastic for your face and also help protect from free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Key ingredients, like vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid and resveratrol aid in the repair of damaged skin cells. “An antioxidant serum will benefit all skin types and you can start using at any age,” Kate says. “There are hundreds of great ones available for all budgets.”

‘A’ stands for awesome

Retinoid (pure vitamin A) is the anti-aging hero as it speeds up cell turnover and has an abundance of skin benefits, including the restoration of visible sun damage. While retinoid can be found in a number of creams, serums or tablets, Kate urges to start with a lower strength product to help build your skin’s tolerance. “It can cause some redness and flaking, so be careful to not go too heavy when using this product for the first time,” Kate explains.

Gently does it

If your skin is still red and inflamed after being in the sun (slap on the wrist for you!), focus on gentler products designed to calm and soothe the inflammation. “Start with pure aloe vera gel and then as the redness calms down, you can use a skincare range for sensitive or irritated skin,” Kate says.

While it’s super tempting to pull at your peelings, resist the urge! “While your skin is healing do not pick at any peeling skin or use any exfoliating scrubs,” Kate stresses. “The flakes will fall off by themselves as the new skin heals underneath. The good news is that the best brands in the sensitive-skin game aren’t super expensive: La Roche-Posay, Bioderma and Avène are all great.”

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.