Sun-damaged skin can be tough to beat as it’s the result of many years spent carelessly in the sun (whoops). Hyper pigmentation, dark spots, thin leathery skin, fine lines and wrinkles are all signs of sun damage. But with the right treatment, you can feel a little less guilty about your younger years, as long as you layer on the sunscreen from now on that is.
Chemical peels remove damaged skin cells to reveal brighter, healthier skin underneath.They’re basically a kickass exfoliator with one hell of a punch. During a chemical peel, a naturally derived acidic solution is applied to the face and left to be absorbed like any other typical face mask. But a few days after the treatment, you can expect the damaged skin cells to fall off and naturally replace themselves over time. And just like that, you’ve pressed restart on your skin.
Because of their attraction to damaged skin cells, our signature chemical peels are ago-to when treating skin overexposed to the sun. Our skin naturally carries outa similar process to what a chemical peel does, known as cell turnover, in the attempt to heal itself. But as we age, the rate of cell turnover majorly decreases. And if you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun, you can bet the rate of yours will be even slower. Chemical peels are a fantastic way to kick start cell turnover.
By increasing the rate of cell turnover, chemical peels can also reduce other signs of skin damage such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, and dark spots.
There are three main types of chemical peels ranging from light to deep penetration:
SUPERFICIAL CHEMICAL PEELS: these tend to use mild acids such as alpha-hydroxy for gentle exfoliation. As it only targets the outermost layer of the skin, we recommend superficial chemical peels to those with subtle sun damage such as dull skin, soft fine lines and wrinkles, and light hyper pigmentation. These more superficial peels have little to no downtime.
MEDIUM CHEMICAL PEELS: naturally occurring medium strength acids with more of a kick are used in our medium depth chemical peels to reach slightly deeper than our superficial peels but with mild downtime. They’re able to effectively target more intense deeper signs of sun damage.
DEEP CHEMICAL PEELS: powerful acids such as phenol and trichloroacetic can fully penetrate the deeper layers of skin and are recommended for seriously affected skin. These deeper peels can have 3-10 days downtime depending on the depth and client.
You’ll most likely experience peeling and dryness of the skin anywhere from a few days to a week depending on the strength you’re given for your skin concerns.
Results aren’t immediate as a chemical peel stimulates the process of cell turnover beneath the skin’s surface, but you can expect them to show within 2 or 3 weeks. Results from deep peels will take slightly longer and can take up to 6 weeks as the skin has more healing to do.
They’re most commonly used on the face, but medium peels can also be used across the entire body.
Chemical peels are generally a safe option for all skin types and tones except vitiligo. But just like before pretty much any treatment, make sure you have no open wounds.
As some chemical peels can contain salicylic acid, this isn’t a suitable treatment for pregnant women as it may be harmful during pregnancy.
1. BE SUN SAVVY – your skin will be at its most sensitive post peel as its first protective layers will have been removed. You’ll need to take extra caution in the sun whilst its healing and apply daily SPF, seek shade and avoid direct sunlight for 2 weeks.
2. KEEP YOUR SKIN MOISTURISED – as peeling is expected as part of the rejuvenation process, you don’t want to be peeling any more than you should be. Your moisturiser should be free from harsh chemicals and irritants to keep your skin happy.
3. CLEANSE WITH COOL WATER – you may still cleanse as normal but do it with cool water. Warm or hot water will feel uncomfortable and can lead to inflammation.But don’t forget to pat your face dry, dragging a dry towel on your already sensitive skin will give a burning sensation that you don’t want. Trust us.
4. AVOID OTHER ACIDIC INGREDIENTS FOR 72 HOURS – your skin has already got its active ingredient fix from chemical peels for at least 3days.
IntensePulsed Light (IPL) is a non-invasive treatment that we recommend for particularly sensitive skin as it can target the signs of sun damage without breaking the skin’s surface – it’s also a lot less painful than a bikini wax and we still get those without question! It releases several wavelengths of light that are evenly scattered to penetrate deep into the second layer of skin(dermis) without causing any harm to the top layer (epidermis) – so it’s pretty great.
IPL works wonders on hyperpigmentation and dark spots, both of which are caused by the overproduction of melanin in the skin. Melanin is a pigment cell that determines the colour of our skin and a natural shield against UV rays from the sun. The more time we spend in the sun, the more melanin we produce which darkens the skin, otherwise known as a tan, which is actually a form of self-protection.
But too much time in the sun can cause excess melanin which clumps beneath the sun. When exposed to IPL, melanin will absorb the light energy and begin to heat up, converting it into heat energy. Once these cells reach a certain temperature, they’ll be destroyed, clearing up the unwanted pigment.
It also stimulates fresh collagen in an attempt to replace collagen lost to UV rays. A boost of collagen in the skin will help the healing process, smooth and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Your skin may become slightly red for the first couple of days post-treatment, but it’s nothing a little bit of makeup won’t cover which you can apply immediately afterwards (but your skin will be thankful for a breather if you can).
Results can appear anywhere between 2-8 weeks with several sessions 2-4 weeks apart depending on your level of sun damage, but they’ll be well worth the wait.
IPL can be safely used to treat sun damage that’s occurred on the face, neck, chest, arms and hands. With Lynton’s IPL machine, we can access all those hard-to-reach areas thanks to its different sized hand pieces.
IPL is best for people with lighter skin tones as they have less melanin in the skin, so the darker patches where its gathered are more apparent and easier to target. If you have darker skin, or even tanned, IPL will heat more than just the excess melanin and can cause further hyperpigmentation, burning or even scarring.
It’s also not safe for people with melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation primarily caused by hormonal imbalances. The heat from IPL can be a trigger to sway the hormones once more and intensify the skin condition.
1. AVOID EXFOLIATION FOR 72 HOURS – IPL for hyperpigmentation will cause the skin cells to darken and then rise to the surface to fall off.Exfoliating may seem like a good idea to help speed the process along, but it’ll only irritate the skin if it’s earlier than 3 days post-treatment.
2. USE A GOOD SPF – multipurpose SPF skincare won’t provide enough protection after your IPL treatment. Invest in a pure SPF sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and wear it for at least 2 weeks.
3. PRIORITISE MOISTURISING – keeping your skin moisturised after IPL will prevent your skin from drying out from the heat of the device.
Microneedling is exactly what it sounds like (but not as scary). Super fine and short needles create tiny punctures to the very first layer of skin, similar to pinpricks, to encourage new skin tissue and rejuvenation.
These tiny wounds made from the microneedling device will call out for more collagen and elastin to the area to help heal the broken skin. If you’re no stranger to the sun, you’ll have noticed your skin has become thinner over time. Collagen and elastin give the skin its volume and elasticity, but UV rays from the sun break these cells down causing the skin to become thin and loose. The increase in collagen and elastin will plump and tighten the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Microneedling can also target hyperpigmentation as newer, healthier skin cells are stimulated which will appear in the same colour as your normal skin tone before sun damage. The insertion of the small needles will also help to separate melanin clusters in the skin which can then be broken down and will lighten dark spots.
Plus, it increases the blood flow for a natural radiant look that’s even better than a sun-kissed glow.
The skin will have more sensitivity in the first few days after microneedling but there is no downtime with this treatment. Any redness from shallow needling will disappear within a couple of hours post-treatment. With slightly deeper needling, it could take a couple more days than this.
Microneedling offers both short-term and long-term results. Your skin will instantly feel lifted and fuller, but the best and all other results will be seen in a few weeks. For maximum results, we recommend a course of 6 treatments.
In addition to the face, neck and décolletage where sun damage typically strikes, it can also be used to revitalise the skin on the back of your hands, elbows, knees and even stomach.
Microneedling is suitable for almost all skin types and tones provided you don’t already have an open skin condition such as active acne, eczema or psoriasis.
We also wouldn’t advise that pregnant and breastfeeding women undergo microneedling treatments because the wound healing and production of collagen requires a large number of essential vitamins and nutrients which are needed for the baby.
1. AVOID MAKEUP FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS – after microneedling your pores will be more exposed and vulnerable to blockages. You don’t want to be dealing with blemishes on your newly revitalised complexion.
2. REGULARLY WASH YOUR HANDS – always wash your hands before touching your face to minimise dirt and bacteria touching open wounds.
3. STAY CLEAR OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT AND WEAR SPF – avoid direct sunlight for at least 2 weeks and reach for the sunscreen every time you leave the house (but if you’ve learnt your lesson and know what’s good for you, it won’t stop there). Microneedling compromises the skin’s barrier which provides protection against UV rays, so you’ll need to make up for this and use sunscreen daily.
4. MINIMISE SWEATY ACTIVITIES – You’ll be glad to hear that you should avoid the gym for 72 hours post-treatment – doctor’s orders. Excessive sweating will reopen the pores and the bacteria on your skin may enter the small punctures.
5. ACTIVE INGREDIENTS ARE A NO-GO – active ingredients such as retinol and vitamin C should take a back seat in your skincare routine for the first 48hours due to extra sensitivity.