Sun-damaged skin is no illusion. After years of sun exposure, the skin’s pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, lose their ability to distribute pigment evenly. As the damage progresses, your face shows it in the form of freckles, sunspots, blotches, uneven pigmentation, blood vessels, a duller complexion, and wrinkles.
And if you think “just a little sun” is a good for you, think again. Sun exposure is like taking money out of a bank: You only get so much time in the sun before you’ve hit your limit and will start assessing damages!
If you are curious about how much sun damage you have accumulated, you can use a Wood’s lamp, which projects a long wavelength of ultraviolet light deeper into the skin than visible light. If you have significant sun damage, it will show up as heavy freckling all over.
To fight these signs, we recommend the following:
Fight Fine Lines and Wrinkles and Sagging Skin with Amino Acids Nightly
With regular sun exposure comes a depletion in skin’s amino acids. Normally, the skin’s amino acids arginine and carnitine form creatine. Creatine can protect the cells from harmful substances by surrounding them with a film of water and form a fibrous net, protecting delicate connective tissue. Creatine stimulates endogenous collagen production. This allows the skin to connect more moisture, become thicker and have a smooth, fresh and wrinkle-free appearance (Annals of Surgery, 2002). Regular sun exposure takes down the skin’s natural levels of arginine and carnitine, resulting in less production of collagen, as well as less tensile collagen.
By applying amino acids to your skin, you may help to restore this process. In fact, topically-applied amino acids have been found to fight fine lines and wrinkles (European Journal of Dermatology, 2013), hydrate (Journal of Peptide Science, 2012), promote wound healing (JPEN, 2014), prevent infections (PLoS Pathogens, 2008), and boost protein synthesis within the skin (Minerva Pediatrica, 2014).
We recommend using a concentrated amino acid product, like our AminoGenesis Photolagen AGF, a serum formulated with seventeen amino acids, a high concentration of palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, and tripeptide-33. Together these agents fight together to create a one-two-three punch against fine lines and wrinkles, skin roughness, and skin laxity.
Target Age Spots with Brightening Ingredients
Everyone and their brother recommends that certain ingredients will remove sunspots. Unfortunately, some of those treatments, like hydroquinone, are concentrated toxins that bleach the skin by taking down an enzyme necessary for melanin production (tyrosinase) in all of the skin cells, not just the sites of the age spots. This can result in a phenomenon known as ochronosis, in which the skin actually becomes darker!
We recommend AminoGenesis Spotlight Skin Brightener, which contains gentle, yet effective skin lighteners Melavoid™, Gigawhite™, AppleECO™, and amino acids! These do the following:
- Melavoid™ has been shown to lighten skin tone evenly and uniformly, thus reducing the number of different types of hyperpigmentation spots (Center for Chem). Melavoid™ is also an award winning innovative ingredient from the SEPAWA Innovation Corporation Awards in 2014 (Source).
- Gigawhite™ is a skin-lightening complex from alpine plants. In one study, Gigawhite™ was been tested on 10 subjects of Asian origin, with statistically significant bleaching effects. These skin lightening effects may partly be attributed to tyrosinase inhibition. (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2009), which means that Gigawhite™ may work in the same fashion as hydroquinone, but without the reported side effects!
- Apple extract has been shown to mildly inhibit tyrosinase, resulting in some improvement in age spots over time (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry).
Use a Treatment Sunscreen Daily to Prevent Further UV Damage
Sunscreens are great. But for maximal protection, you need sunscreen ingredients. This is because the active ingredients in sunscreen are each targeted to work at a different range of wavelengths. By combining different sunscreens, you maximize efficacy!
- European Journal of Pharmacology). It’s also so effective that it is one of the active ingredients in the standard sunscreen formulation the FDA uses to test the SPF of other sunscreens (FDA). is actually part of the salicylate family, like salicylic acid. Studies show that it can help limit inflammation, resulting in reduced redness in the skin. (
- JAAD). is a photostabilizer used to reduce the degradation of . Both are UVB filters; when paired with avobenzone, they create a broad-spectrum protectant against harmful radiation (
- Avobenzone is a very common sunscreen ingredient. It works by taking UV light and converting it into energy that isn’t harmful. Avobenzone protects moderately well against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Avobenzone sometimes gets a bad rap, because it is unstable when it is used alone and exposed to light (International Journal of Pharmacology). However, when avobenzone is paired with , it is stabilized and will not break down significantly in the present of light (FDA). And, as I mentioned before, octisalate will also stabilize avobenzone.
- Free Radical Research, 2010). is an avobenzone stabilizer that provides further UVB protection (
All of these are in AminoGenesis Wrinkle Arrest SPF 30.
In Summary: You Need Specific Ingredients to Fight Sun Damage
To effectively fight and prevent further UV damage, we recommend the following:
- A concentrated anti-aging repair serum with peptides and amino acids like AminoGenesis Photolagen AGF,
- A targeted sunspot treatment like AminoGenesis Spotlight Skin Brightener.
- A daily UVA/UVB protective sunscreen like AminoGenesis Wrinkle Arrest SPF 30.