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The Untold Truths of Sun Damage and How to Stop It

Who doesn’t love the warm feeling of sun rays touching our skin? Clear skies, warm weather and sundresses can lift our spirits and put a smile on our faces. We love the sun, simple as that. 

While we may enjoy a golden tan, a sunny day can have its consequences. Some, like a sunburn, appear right away. Others, and often the most bothersome of all, surface years later. We’re talking real sun damage. Like fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, spots and blotches. 

Understand UV Rays and Your Skin

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are what cause damage to your skin. When UV rays reach you, your skin attempts to protect itself by increasing the production of melanin, turning into what we “see” as a tan. Sometimes, the UV damage becomes greater than our skin’s defense. The result: a painful sunburn — Ouch! 

These burns go away in a few days or weeks, but the damage remains. It goes into hiding and creeps back up to get us as we age.

UV exposure is responsible for 80% of the visible signs of aging. This looks like thicker skin, dryness, premature wrinkles, loss of firmness, and dark spots. Most notice this in the areas where the sun primarily hits our body — the chest, the face, and the eye contour.

You may have started to notice sun damage on your chest.

Sun Damage the Aging Process

If you go sunbathing today with no protection on your skin, you may see redness or a tan on the surface. Underneath that surface though, those UV rays are causing your skin’s collagen to break down faster than normal. Because this damage starts in the inner layers of the skin, it can take years before you see the first signs of photoaging. 

What is photoaging? 

Photoaging is premature damage to the skin caused by prolonged and excessive exposure to UV rays. This exposure can come directly from the sun or tanning beds. In short photoaging = faster aging. Most importantly, photoaging is one of the only forms of aging we can prevent! 

Where do we go from here? Stay indoors and avoid the sun like a vampire? No! We need the sun too. Just like we mentioned, it brings us joy, warmth, and that ever-necessary Vitamin D!

That is why we’ve laid out our key sun-safety recommendations, so you can continue enjoying the sun. 

How to Enjoy the Sun Responsibly

  1. Use UV protection daily. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen in a texture that works for your skin, and apply it daily, not just during the summer.
  2. Avoid the sun at its peak hours. This is the time of the day when the intensity of the sun is at its highest. The time will vary depending on your location and the time of year.
  3. Wear protective clothing. Protect the area around your eyes with sunglasses, and choose a hat that can protect your face. Accessorizing has never served us better!
  4. If you love the tanned look, choose a self-tanner. There are dozens of self-tanners to choose from depending on the look you want. There’s no need to risk your skin! 

Can You Reverse Sun Damage?

Let’s be honest, the damage cannot be completely reversed. But, just because the damage is there doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to improve the quality of your skin.

  1. Protect your skin. It’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen. Follow the advice shared above to prevent further sun damage to your skin.
  2. High-tech treatments. We know UV exposure affects collagen. Treatments such as laser and blue light therapy can help regenerate collagen and give your skin its bounce back using safe rays. Microdermabrasion is also a good option to help fade pigmentation and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  3. High-quality Skincare. Your at-home routine will impact the look of your skin. Include gentle exfoliation using an AHA or BHA toner, antioxidants, and a good moisturizer in your skincare routine. Gentle exfoliation will help with cellular turnover (for a more even skin tone and smoother texture) while antioxidants like Vitamins C and E will protect your skin against environmental damage.
  4. Use Soke Hydrogel Treatments. Your eye contour and chest are some of the first to show signs of photoaging. Uneven skin tone, spots and lines on the chest, squinting lines, and loss of firmness around the eyes. Soke Hydrogel Masks are designed to hug those areas with a super-coated hydrogel clinically proven to hydrate, reduce redness and the appearance of fine lines, and even out skin tone after only 30 minutes. With regular use, Soke is both corrective and preventative

You Decide How YOU Want to Age, Not the Sun

Decades ago we didn’t have access to sun safety information we have now. We didn’t know better. Now, you can take ownership of the aging process and age how you want to, not how the sun dictates. Protect your skin, and consider corrective treatments if you want to reduce the lines and spots that are showing up. Remember, you only have one skin. 

To prevent and correct, try Soke.