As sad as it is to say, another Summer is coming to an end. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who live in a place that Summer is all year round, or maybe you’re already getting hammered with snow. Regardless of the location, anyone is susceptible to sun damage. The unfortunate part is even if you were careful and wore sunscreen 19/20 times you went to the beach, that one time you exposed your skin to harsh sun rays can cause some serious and ugly skin damage.
Here are a couple signs of sun damaged skin that everyone should be aware of:
- Sunspots (or falsely called age spots) – These brown concentrations of pigmentation, that look a lot like freckles, show up frequently on the hands, arms, chest, and face. They aren’t age specific, which is why “age spots” isn’t an accurate term.
- Chapped Lips – Maybe the air is just dry, but if you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun and your lips are constantly chapped, that can be a foolproof sign of sun damage. It is super important to put sunscreen or chapstick with SPF on when you go outside.
- Dry and faded hair – Sun damage doesn’t just affect your skin, it can also cause problems with your hair and nails. While hair damage won’t cause cancer, it can still have a damaging physical impact. Your hair becomes dry, bleached and straw like.
- Red-brown Patches – Too much exposure to the sun can cause reddish-brown patches to develop on your skin. These are usually rough, raised, and a bit scaly. They may feel like scabs. If you notice this happening to your skin, get a dermatologist’s opinion right away
- “Surfer’s Eye” – When your eyes become red and glossy in a striped fashion where they are exposed to the sun, you should definitely be wearing sunglasses. It’s a pink, white or clear plaque that starts growing on the surface of the eye. It’s originally harmless, but could eventually turn into cancer.
Now, if you’re starting to see signs of sun damage after a long and hot summer, have no fear. Here are some natural remedies to help (and even reverse) sun damaged skin.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar & Onion Juice
While this may sound like a crazy combination, don’t knock it until you try it. When mixed together, these two substances cause lightening in the skin. They have been proven to reverse the effect of those pesky, dark or discolored spots on your skin, especially on the face. If you can bare a little bit of a funky smell, all you have to do is first chop, blend, or process an onion into the smallest bits possible. Then separate the solid onion from the juice by letting it drip through a strainer or cheesecloth. (Thankfully, it only takes a ½ cup of onion juice to make this remedy effective.) Mix the onion juice with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar, and finally, using a cotton swab, apply a small amount to the sun-damaged area and leave on for 30 minutes. If you do this once a day, you should see skin lightening in about two-three weeks! You’ll have that healthy glow back in no time.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a crucial step in repairing sun-damaged skin. For one, it helps revitalize skin by encouraging new, healthy cell growth. It also inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of the pigment melanin that is responsible for making your skin darken. Not only is Vitamin C the most common antioxidant found naturally in our bodies, but it also works as a powerful antioxidant to help fight sun damage. In order to really rejuvenate your skin after it’s been in the sun too long, use a lotion or serum that contains Vitamin C and use generously on any infected areas. It also doesn’t hurt and is recommended, to eat or drink one food source that is high in Vitamin C every day to help counterbalance any sun damage in the future. These foods could be oranges, kale, kiwi, etc.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil has rightly coined the term miracle product. It seems to do wonders on just about everything. Why is that? Because coconut oil is packed with Vitamin E and fatty acids that naturally moisturize the skin while reducing any inflammation caused by the Sun’s rays. All you have to do is heat up some coconut oil (a few seconds in the microwave should do it) to transform the texture into a smooth and super-hydrating moisturizer, plus it smells delicious! For best results, it’s recommended to use the oil on damaged areas, or all over, three times a day to really lock in all the benefits. In just a few days you will start to see a drastic change in your skin’s complexion and pigment.
4. Lemon Juice
When life gives you lemons… heal your sun damage! Lemon’s contain a citric acid that initiates cell production and rejuvenation in the skin. Use lemon juice on your face, chest, and neck and be amazed at how well this natural remedy works wonders. All you need is a little juice and a cotton swab. Dab the juice onto affected skin areas and leave it on for 30 minutes. After the half hour, wash off the lemon juice with warm water and rehydrate your skin by applying lotion. Note: test a small patch on your skin first to make sure there isn’t any burning or irritation from the acid. Rejuvenating the skin can be as easy as looking into your fridge!
5. Baking Soda
There are many natural benefits to using baking soda on your skin. For one, it helps balance your pH levels and normalizes your skin. It can also be used to break down harmful proteins and acids on the epidermis. And if that wasn’t enough, it also reduces irritation and itchiness after a bad sunburn or sun poisoning. When it comes to sun damage, baking soda is a great and easy way to restore your skin to it’s natural and healthy state. A fun way to incorporate baking soda into your daily routine is to adding one cup to your bath and soaking for 20-30 minutes. You should allow your body to air dry so you can soak up all the benefits and your skin can heal. If you’re a busy bee and don’t have time for a bath, or don’t have a tub, another way you can use baking soda is making it into a paste. Again, with just a little water mixed together with the baking soda, you can apply the paste to your burn or damaged skin for about 5-10 minutes. You should remove the paste with cold water and repeat every other day until your skin is back to it’s beautifully glowing self!