Here’s the thing with sun damage: Prevention is always the best medicine. We should do our best to be diligent with the proper SPF care (see some of our favorite face SPF options for every skin tone.) You would also be wise to amp up your antioxidant use, both topically and internally. Antioxidants help neutralize free radical damage (an effect from UV exposure) before it happens, thus saving you from oxidative stress down the line.
However, life and sunny days happen—and no one is perfect in their skin care routines at all times. Thus, at the end of summer, you may need a bit of damage control. There are plenty of topical treatments to look into (alpha-hydroxy acids being the most potent at reversing sun damage), but to help manage sunspots and other sun-related skin issues, you should also be mindful of your cellular health.
When we discuss your cellular health, we discuss how able your cells are to regenerate. When your cells (skin or otherwise) can regenerate, they act younger and function better. In the skin, this means they are more vibrant and able to minimize damage.
And much of this comes down to their mitochondrial function. Your mitochondria are very important for your cells health, as they literally power the entire thing. As we age, their functions decline and we are left with less energetic cells; it’s so important for overall health that research connects mitochondrial decline to many age-related health conditions. Same goes for skin: As our skin cells are less able to regenerate, those sunspots are more likely to develop.