In the beauty world, the importance of proper sun protection gets heavy rotation. We all know that SPF is necessary to prevent skin irregularities, pigmentation, inflammation and free radical creation (which accelerate signs of aging). But what about after the damage is done, especially this time of year after the sunny laden summertime?
There are probably very few of us that don’t have even a little sun damage. With skincare, it’s always best to be proactive. The quicker we treat our skin, the more likely that it will repair properly. So, here are four powerful sun damage-fighting ingredients that will help to restore and protect our skin against UV-induced trauma. Let’s get healing pronto!
Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil
Sea buckthorn oil is one of my favourite ingredients for helping to heal damaged skin. This oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, making it excellent for wound healing and slowing the rate of cell aging. While it comes in seed-derived or berry-derived varieties, the berry oil contains a higher concentration of vitamin C than its seed oil counterpart. This yields a bright orange-coloured oil that can be used on its own as an overnight treatment or mixed with another oil for everyday use as a protective moisturizer.
Rosehip is the fruit of the rose plant and is known for its ability to repair scars, burns and pigmentation. This is because rosehip contains high amounts of vitamin C, which helps to treat and diminish sun spots caused by UV-stimulated melanin activity. Rosehip can be used in liquid or oil form. Rosehip water is an extremely potent, undiluted hydrosol made by extracting the plant juices from the fruit, also called the “hips,” of organic roses. This makes a revitalizing toner or after-sun hydrating mist. Applying rosehip oil directly to the skin is the most common way to use this ingredient as it is a powerful skin softening moisturizer. This plant oil not only possesses the same pigmentation-treating properties as its hydrosol, but also helps to smooth out skin texture and regenerate complexions with its high fatty acid content.
Seaweed helps to increase hydration and treat premature signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. This is important when treating sun damage because excess UV exposure leads to the creation of free radicals, which damage skin cells leading to dehydration and wrinkle formation. In addition to its nourishing properties, specific seaweed types work to prevent pigmentation as well. Sea oak helps reduce the release of a key mediator of melanogenesis, and inhibits tyrosinase – the enzyme that triggers melanin production as well as actual melanin synthesis. It also prevents inflammation and reduces elastin and collagen decline, helping to maintain the healthiness of the skin and guard against free radical damage. Norweigen kelp is another type of seaweed that helps to decrease irregular melanin production. It works by inhibiting UV-induced endothelins that bind to melanocyte receptors stimulating melanin production. This is why I put these seaweeds into the Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion from my Holistic Vanity Damage Care line.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found naturally in the skin tissue that provides cushioning and moisture. While the word “acid” sounds daunting, there is no burning or peeling involved! Hyaluronic acid is excellent for improving skin health and encouraging tissue repair. It bolsters skin hydration with its ability to retain up to one thousand times its own weight in water (how impressive is that?) and because our tissue needs hydration in order to heal, this helps with skin restoration, rejuvenation and anti-aging.
So, this post-summer season, let’s give our skin some TLC and repair some of the damage acquired from our fun in the sun.
Kristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up. She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India. She is also a Certified Esthetician with over ten years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia. Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company. Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine. She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine.