Skin Concerns

Soak Up the Sun, Without Damaging Your Skin

Written by Dahvi Shira

A one-week vacation can create a lifetime of memories— and a lifetime of sun damage on the face. If you've ever sat out in the sun for a little too long and didn't reapply sunscreen, you may notice one or more of the following, which are indeed signs of said damage:

  • Uneven pigmentation (skin coloring)
  • Freckles
  • Wrinkles
  • Skin growths
  • Melasma (a condition that causes dark patches on your skin)

Unfortunately, sun damage is permanent, but there are different ways to reduce the appearance of the harm. We've all had the days where we've forgotten to re-apply, or spent the extra hour or two catching rays that showed up later... No judgment! We're just giving the tips + tricks for future preventative care, and how to heal those spots that you see showing up later.

What Causes Sun Damage?

Whether you hit the tanning beds in your teens or you’ve spent extra time sunbathing, you’ve probably heard about the effects of ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun over the years.

While the sun does provide Vitamin D to enhance our skin tone, improve mood and help with bone development, UV rays can also cause negative effects, if you don’t protect your skin. Sun damage occurs from being overexposed to the UV rays at any one time, as well as cumulative exposure to unprotected skin on a daily basis. Sun damage doesn’t always refer to the nasty burn you got after falling asleep on the sand —it can go as far back to your childhood when you were running around playing sports without sunblock. This can result in what experts call “premature aging,” on the skin, which can lead to potential harmful skin cancers, like Melanoma.

We know from extensive research that the sun damages all structures of the skin, and is capable of causing skin cancer, even if you don’t get a burn. The inflammation caused by sun damage happens every day, and it starts within the first minute you expose your skin to daylight without protection. Unless you get a sunburn, you don’t actually see or feel any of this damage happening, but it can, and most likely will, show itself in various forms in the future.

How To Prevent Sun Damage 

Unless you lock yourself away in a dungeon, sun exposure is inevitable. Even driving in your car with the windows up, your skin can still be affected. That said, there are different ways you can protect yourself from harmful UV rays and prevent sun damage to your skin.

Apply Sunscreen

When celebrities reveal their biggest skincare secrets, nine times out of 10, the answer is a simple, “SPF.” Sunscreen delivers essential sun protection. You want to ensure the sun protection factor (SPF) is 15 or higher (though realistically SPF50 is a better approach). SPF determines how well the sunscreen can block UV rays, so the higher the number, the more protection. 

A great tip is to use a daily SPF as part of your morning skincare routine. This way, you’re always covered. Nowadays, SPF often provides more than just sun protection. Many products double as moisturizers, too, packed with good-for-you ingredients across the board. Our Skin Glow SPF 30 Primer is a multi-purpose formula that serves as sun protection and a primer; However, feel free to wear solo, or under makeup! It's also made with Niacinamide for added anti-aging benefits that your skin will love you for.

 YSE Beauty

Cover Up as Much as Possible

This may sound like a no-brainer, but we have to include it anyway. Keeping your skin covered is an obvious way to reduce risk of sun damage. If you plan to be out in the sun but you’re not laying out, try incorporating long-sleeve shirts and long pants into your wardrobe when possible (lighter-colored clothing provides more protection). If the weather is hot and you can’t even fathom the thought of long sleeves, grab an umbrella, tree, or any shade you can find to block you from the sun. 

And, of course, don’t forget your trusty hat. Hats can provide even more coverage by covering your head, neck, and face. The best hat option for sun protection is one that has a brim all the way around, made of canvas or another tightly woven fabric. 

Luckily, the sun makes way for our favorite accessories. In addition to a chic head covering, you can also snag your favorite sunnies to protect you from harmful rays. Wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes and the skin surrounding them.

 YSE Beauty

Avoid Artificial Tanning

We’re way past the year 2000. If you’re still accepting tanning beds as the norm, we hate to say it, but you need to check yourself. Just because they offer artificial “sun,” doesn’t mean they’re not equally harmful. While we love ourselves a relaxing nap in the heat, you’ll have to do it elsewhere because these beds elicit the same UV rays you’ll find from the sky. This is especially useful information for adolescents and young adults with a higher risk of developing melanoma—the most harmful skin cancer.

How to Treat Sun-Damaged Skin

You notice the spots showing... And you want to turn back time. However, not all hope is lost! Even though most sun damage to the skin is permanent, there are multiple treatments that target the issue, therefore aiding the appearance of your skin. We’ve rounded up a list of the best products to heal those dark spots and tighten up the fine lines + wrinkles that begin to show.


If you have sun-damaged skin, cream with retinoids can be used to improve its appearance. Retinoids improve the production of skin cells, and thereby improve fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin tone. 

Tempting as it is, however, do not get retinoid-happy. They should typically only be used at night, but in cases where daytime use is recommended, you must use sun protection. Retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, making SPF all the more necessary to use. They are also an intensive, powerful treatment, so start slowly using 2-3 times per week, so your complexion can slowly get accustomed. Our Last Call Retinol Serum is the ideal mix to treat those fine lines, heal dark spots and improve texture + tone -- all while you sleep.

Vitamin C Serum

Ask any skincare expert, and most likely, Vitamin C Serum will be their first recommendation to treating is sun-damaged skin. Its antioxidant properties can reduce signs of aging and improve skin pigmentation. Our Morning Cocktail Vitamin C Serum is uniquely made with 3 forms of Stablized Vitamin C, Niacinimide, Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid to brighten your skin tone, even your complexion and soothe the skin. It's the perfect addition to your morning routine to heal those photo-damaged spots and improve hyperpigmentation.


While Vitamin C is the well-known heavy-hitter, be sure not to discredit fellow Vitamin B3—also known as Niacinamide. Great for boosting the skin’s battery, Niacinamide stimulates the skin's barrier function and addresses hyperpigmentation.

Our Last Call Retinol Serum is a clinically-proved formula that actually combines retinol and Niacinamide to deliver a powerhouse formula designed to improve skin texture and tone. The result? A more youthful appearance —and who doesn’t want that?

Forward Thinking...

In the future, before stepping back out into the sun, remember to keep a few things in mind. The UV rays from the sun can damage your skin and cause health problems like skin cancer, so it's super important to wear SPF and cover yourself when possible. Grab your hat, sunglasses and maybe even an umbrella the next time you head to the beach -- your skin will thank you for it!