Clients may be enjoying that golden tan or those long days at the beach this summer, but what they do not see are the long-term effects that sun exposure can cause. Melanocytes are melanin producing cells, and their production is increased in the skin to protect itself from the damage the sun’s rays can cause. The excess melanin in turn can cause uneven pigmentation, solar lentigines and even dilation of small blood vessels. So, what treatments are most effective once the sun’s damage is already done?
Tretinion: Tretinion is the acid form of vitamin A. Its most common use is as a treatment for acne vulgaris (the most common form of acne); it is also the best retinoid for treating photo-aging. Essentially, Tretinion increases cell turnover by causing the skin cells to divide more rapidly. New cells replace the sun damaged cells, causing visible improvements in the skin beginning at just three weeks, with brown spots fading and depth of wrinkles reducing.
Laser: IPL treatments (or photofacials) are extremely effective in treating the effects of too much time in the sun. The laser targets brown or red pigmented lesions in the skin. These areas contain high concentrations of melanin, typically caused by an excess of pigment due to sun exposure, aging or congenital factors. The high intensity beam is filled with plasma energy that travels through the epidermis to the dermis to the unwanted and damaged cells. When the damaged cells are destroyed, new skin cell growth is promoted, leaving the skin tone more even and ridding it of unwanted hyperpigmentation.
Chemical Peels: Repeated sun exposure breaks down collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis, causing wrinkles and more flaccid skin. Chemical peels, such as TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel solution, are layered for deeper penetration to repair dark hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. The depth of the chemical peel varies depending on results desired. Superficial pigmentation including freckles, liver spots and seborrheic keratosis are typically treated with mild chemical peels. More severe photo damage, meaning the alterations in the skin have reached the epidermis and the dermis, need to be treated with medium depth chemical peels.
Dermal Needling: Micro-needling is a rejuvenation method that uses a roller with microscopic stainless steel needles to stimulate the collagen in the dermis. The roller punctures the skin, wounding it in the dermis. It is a relatively painless procedure and allows the skin to regenerate with collagen production. Needling creates micro-channels that take infusion technology to a whole new level. By combining safe and precisely calibrated needle penetration and high-grade active ingredients to the dermal layer, the area of the skin that is most rejuvenating, sun damage can be effectively treated.
There are numerous products, treatments, and skin care regimens for treating the unwelcome symptoms of sun exposure. It is best to work with a client to establish a result-producing regime including the use of products and treatments best suited for the skin type and needs, as well as the constant use of sunscreen to prevent further damage.
Below are treatments around the U.S. that show positive staples in sun damage treatments.
Lightening Lift for $60
This treatment is for skin tones appearing uneven, dull, and visible of superficial brown spots. This alpha hydroxy-based formula helps to reduce surface sun damage and lighten skin tone. Skin will be deeply cleansed before the formula is applied to shed the damaged skin. It will appear lighter, smoother and refreshed. This treatment is beneficial for skin types of the following: superficial pigmentation, sun damage/brown spots, and uneven skin tone.
Bella Vita Medi Spa and Salon in Orlando, Florida
407-253-0800 or www.bellavitamedispa.com
Water Lily After Sun Soothing Wrap for $85
This cooling wrap is perfect for after sun exposure. It will decrease skin temperature and burning sensation, relieve redness, desensitizes, and adds moisture back into the skin.
Willow Day Spa in Cartersville, Georgia
770-334-2132 or www.willowdayspa.net
Reenergize skin with a boost of 100 percent pure vitamin C. This antioxidant treatment relieves sun-damaged skin and helps fight the signs of premature aging. Citrus and bamboo extract exfoliation, along with a reparative serum and soufflé mask, improve appearance and stimulate collagen production to renew skin's firmness.
Paradise Point in San Diego, California
858-490-6350 or www.paradisepoint.com
Medical Grade Microdermabrasion for $125
The Diamond Tome medical grade microdermabrasion system provides individualized, effective treatments without the sandy or gritty feeling traditional microdermabrasion may deliver. Using a special treatment wand incorporating natural diamond chips, the topmost layer of the skin will be exfoliated. Removing this outer layer of dead skin cells relieves congestion in the skin and reduces pore size, while drawing out blackheads and whiteheads. This treatment creates a smoother texture and promotes the growth of healthy new cells.
Sensational Styles Spa, Inc. in Avon, Minnesota
320-356-9226 or www.sensationalstylesspa.com
Remineralizing Treatment for $80
This treatment is intended to combat lack of moisture and soothe skin damaged by the sun and the elements. A state-of-the-art refreshing mask, rich in minerals, soothes the fine lines and aids in the rehydration of the skin's cellular membranes.
Bellazio Salon | Day Spa in Centerville, Ohio
937-432-6722 or www.bellaziosalondayspa.com
Cooling Silk Wrap for $80 and up
This body treatment combines refreshing, moisturizing, soothing, and regenerating properties that activate the skin's natural repair function. This is excellent for sun damaged skin, along with fatigued or sensitive skin.
Sundays Ultimate Day Spa in Columbus, Georgia
706-322-5566 or www.sundaysdayspa.com
Soothing After-Sun Facialfor $45
This is a facial to soothe, hydrate and nourish skin that has been over-exposed to the elements. It includes a calming lavender and aloe mask, as well as a cooling application of hydrating botanicals to protect skin while calming redness.
Willow Day Spa in Morgantown, West Virginia
304-777-2352 or www.willowdayspaonline.com