Sun makes you happy, there’s no doubt! Its positive effect on body and soul is known since ancient times and scientifically proven.Thanks to UV radiation we produce vitamin D. It keeps our bones strong and is known as an anti-aging hormone.
But: the right dose is essential, because too much sun causes damage to the skin and triggers fine creases and pigment spots – and they won’t disappear in the upcoming fall. We’ve listed a number of things which really help and some of the category old wives’ tale.
Correct sunburn treatment
Our organism has self-repairing qualities and can easily handle small cell damages caused by minor injuries or by too much sun for example. Sunburn is a critical topic though, not only doest it cause painful redness but also blisters and Necrosis (cellular death) in the worst case.
This can be prevented by moving into the shade and by cooling the affected skin areas. A cool compress comforts and has a soothing effect; best use cotton cloth soaked in potable water to avoid microorganisms to penetrate the damaged skin barrier.
Cooling lotions and gels reduce the pain and have a healing effect. Look out for Hydrocortisone products, they are anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antipruritic.
Furthermore, an increased supply of fluids is highly recommended because Dehydration is often underestimated after extensive sun exposure – drink lots of water or lukewarm tea.
Avoid ice or cold packs, alcohol as disinfectant is forbidden since it could damage the irritated skin even more.
By the way, beware of alleged home remedies like vinegar compresses or yoghurt. The acidic vinegar irritates the skin unnecessarily and, yoghurt has a cooling effect first but warms up quickly and sticks unpleasantly to the skin.
Reduction of pigment spots
There’s nothing wrong with a few cute freckles. But unfortunately these micro pigment depositions multiply year after year, depending on the sun exposure even stronger, quite irregularly until one day they become Chloasma (extensive skin discoloration). The end of the story are aging spots, which are often considered to be unattractive, on the back of the hand and the forearm, but in particular on the face and the décolleté.
Very important: Before deciding which treatment to choose, you should consult your family doctor or a general physician – in order to exclude skin cancer but also rather harmless triggers like hormone changes provoked by pregnancy, the pill or cosmetics perfumes.
With the help of modern laser technology pigments and aging spots can be removed quite easily. Highly energetic light, departing from pulsed ruby, alexandrite or Neodym YAG Laser, leads to a short-term heating that makes the redundant pigments literally explode. Afterwards, it’s naturally broken down by the body’s lymphatic system within a few weeks. UV light should be prevented until the skin would have healed. Costs: app. 50 to 150 Euros per treatment.
A chemical peeling with fruit acid or trichloroacetic acid is applied in case of bigger pigment spots. Here, the first and second skin layer are burned and peeled one after the other. Depending on the individual case, costs for the somewhat painful method amount to between 200 and 750 Euros. The exfoliating technique Dermabrasion uses a diamond grinder to remove the outer layer of the skin; prices start from app. 120 Euros.
Expensive bleaching cremes offered by many cosmetics companies unfortunately don’t prove successful. An independent study was conducted on hand lotions with bleaching agents: in a period of six months the cream was applied twice a day. With the help of a chroma meter (measurement instrument to evaluate the colour) the before and after effects were measured – and couldn’t be proved for any of the tested creams.
In return, some medical products which are available at pharmacies can be effective when it comes to easy pigmentations. Pigment spots fade slightly though, the process takes a few months and requires some patience.
Removal of moles
Just few moles are congenital. Depending on skin type and sun exposure they proliferate. As of adulthood they should be checked regularly by a dermatologist. Most of the light to dark brown moles are harmless. The latter will never be removed by laser – a laser treatment would take away tissue which is needed for a Biopsy which could eventually exclude the dangerous skin cancer. The doctor executes the microscopic examination with a scalpel.
Skin-coloured moles are seldom and usually benign. They can be removed easily with a pulsed CO2 or Erbium YAG Laser, the benign growth evaporates in layers. Costs for the treatment start at app. 75 Euros.
Don’t touch! Keep your own hands off unpleasant moles! Moles can neither be tackled with home remedies like iodine or wart removal products nor can homeopathic cures work wonders. Far from it! For lack of disinfection there’s a high risk of inflammations or even of malignant cell changes. You should always consult either a medical expert or the dermatologist of your trust.
Rescue for summer creases
Laugh lines, forehead creases… extensive sun exposure is not favourable if you want to keep a smooth and even skin. And we’re not talking about cellulite or the orange peel effect, mostly determined by genetic factors, which can be slightly reduced to a certain extend with the help of cremes, peelings and massages. We mean the many fine creases which are very often the consequence of our careless attitude to UV radiation.
Thus, sufficient sun protection and sun screen, depending on your skin type with an SPF of 50+ are
essential, especially for the delicate skin of your face and décolleté. On normal working days, a day creme with SPF is recommended, a light makeup on top protects against environmental impacts and makes your complexion look smooth and even.
Another good advice to avoid eye wrinkles: wear your sun glasses, or your reading glasses if you catch yourself again squinting whilst reading. Lip exercises, overemphasizing the vowels A, I, E, U and O, maintain a firm skin in the long run. Eye creams have a same effect, also on the delicate skin of your lips. Extensive skin cleansing in the evening is the nuts and bolts, especially before the gentle application of care products.
Smile more often… it might sound weird but works miracles against forehead wrinkles, these undesired creases between the eyebrows making us look a bit grim although we’re in a great mood.
By the way: Scientific studies have proven that people are estimated older than they are not because of their wrinkles. The only reason are irregular pigmentation spots on their face. Unfortunately, they will be increasing over the years but thanks to beautiful decorative cosmetics we can do something about them. But here, too: less is more, avoid decorative painting and rely on subtle natural looks.
Nicotine, too much alcohol and little sleep are enemies of a smooth and even complexion. But… facelift, hyaluronic acid, Botox & co.? No way! Before we start applying these methods (and possibly get addicted to these devils in disguise) we turn to simpler and rather painless treatments which neither disfigure us nor make us look like scary monsters.
To stay natural and authentic should come first on our priority list – the fact that we’re emotional personalities who love life can be visible indeed!
English translation: Danielle De Bie