Back to the future – How to reverse sun damage

Sun damage is the number one contributing factor to our skin ageing before its time. In fact, studies show that UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible signs of ageing.

While we’re all familiar with the immediate signs of sun damage – redness and sun burn, it’s the prolonged damage that we really should worry about when it comes to ageing.

Known as photoaging, prolonged sun damage begins to appear years after the initial damage took place. Signs of photoaging include fine lines and wrinkles, broken capillaries, dark spots and pigmentation, and dehydrated and crepey skin.

It takes so long to appear because the UV rays penetrate right down to our dermis (the deepest layer of our skin) so it can take years for the damage to rise to the surface.

When it comes to treating photoaging, prevention is of course the best course of action. Make sure you’re always wearing a high-grade 50+ SPF every day. This applies to days when it’s cloudy, during winter and even if you spend most of your time indoors (UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and windows!).

“The sun’s rays can reflect from all angles and impact the skin even if not directly in the sun,” says Medical Director at Artisan, Dr Andreas Fox. “Broad spectrum protection against both types of rays is essential and the quality of sunscreen is important, as is regular reapplication, especially after swimming. Your daily moisturiser also needs to have a good level of SPF (at least 30+).”

Dr Fox adds that limiting exposure to the sun is also an important strategy in combatting photoaging.

“You should limit time directly in the sun and wear a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves when you are outside,” he says. “Sounds simple and basic but easy to ignore or forget!”

For those who weren’t diligent about slip, slop, slapping in their younger years and are already experiencing the ageing effects of sun damage, don’t stress. Our experts are skilled in a wide-range of treatments to reduce the long-lasting signs of sun damage.

“Not everyone will respond to the same types of treatment, and this is where our skilled dermal therapists will help guide you as to the best strategy for you,” says Dr Fox.  “Resurfacing often includes light and laser modalities of different depths depending on skin characteristics and degree of damage. The most effective treatments are Fraxel, Clear & Brilliant, and IPL.”


How to treat mild photoaging 

If you’re experiencing the mild effects of photoaging such as fine lines and small patches of pigmentation, then a laser treatments like Clear+Brilliant is ideal.

Clear+Brilliant is great for reducing superficial pigmentation and resurfacing your skin to improve texture. It’s also great for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It uses a fractional laser to penetrate the top layer of your skin, known as the epidermis to stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen. This works to repair and brighten your complexion, improving pigmentation while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

The best part? There’s no downtime and it produces results that last several months or longer depending on the number of treatments you receive.



 How to treat moderate photoaging 

IPL is idea for moderate signs of photoaging such as widespread redness, deep lines and wrinkles and dark, scattered pigmentation. A comfortable treatment with no downtime, IPL works by emitting light into the skin. This heats and damages superficial blood vessels and pigmentation, effectively diffusing redness and discolouration. IPL also stimulates collagen to plump your skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.



How to treat significant photoaging 

Fraxel is the gold standard for treating significant signs of photoaging such as deep wrinkles, pigmentation and redness caused by broken veins and capillaries.

While Fraxel does come with about seven days of downtime, one annual treatment can significantly resurface your skin for long-lasting results. Using a fractional laser, it penetrates the deeper, dermis layer of your skin to stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen. By leaving most of the surrounding skin intact, your skin’s natural rejuvenation process kicks in. This smooths wrinkles and scars, eliminates pigmentation and creates cleaner, healthier skin.