Reversing years of sun damage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Reversing years of sun damage

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If the summer season is an invitation to you to soak in the sun and work on your tan, chances are you have already done some major damage to your skin, even if you cannot see it yet.  

Years of sun damage can be reversed, though, to find that youthful glow again.

Shonna May is now 43 and very careful about her time in the sun. That is quite the contrast from years of basking in it. 

"We loved going to the beach and tanning and just hanging out," she said.

That tanning resulted in some burning and peeling, but the damage did not become evident until about 10 years ago. 

"When I was younger, no, you couldn't tell," said May, "now as of about 30 ... yes it started to be a concern!"

May had to look no further than her skin care consultant sister, Tana Garcia, at the Aesthetic Center in Lake Charles to know the root of the flaws. 

"It's just the exposure to the UVA and UVB rays that can dehydrate the skin," said Garcia, "sunburns can cause damage to the skin."

For May, she felt like there was an overall aged look to the skin. 

"I had hyperpigmentation marks, which are dark marks on your face. My skin wasn't as plump and shiny and healthy looking as it used to be," she said.

The first step to getting sun-damaged skin healthy again starts with sloughing off the bad stuff. 

"Gentle exfoliation and cell turnover, the use of topical antioxidants and peptides to help encourage collagen," said Garcia.

That helps with wrinkles and skin elasticity. Daily moisturizer is a must to stay hydrated.     

When it comes to evening out discolorations, here is the rundown of ingredients to look for: 

"Retinol is always a good ingredient to look for, it's tried and true," said May. "Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, hydroquinone is a good ingredient to help with pigment along with kojik and azelaic acids."

Those are ingredients that have reversed the damage May had to her skin and part of her personal line of products at home, including daily sunscreen of SPF 25. 

"Skin cancer is a big concern and I just want healthy-looking skin," said May.

When you pick a daily sunscreen, make sure it has a seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. That means it has gone through more rigorous testing to prove its protection.

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