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Sun damage and how to reverse its effects on your skin

Posted at 6:41 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 09:41:41-04

PHOENIX — Fall and cooler temperatures have arrived in the Valley, but skin experts say that doesn't mean you should stop protecting your skin from the sun. They say this is a good time to start trying to fix the damage on your face.

Felicia Taghizadeh, the owner of Arizona Facial Plastics, says sun damage is almost inevitable in Arizona.

She said the first step in taking care of your skin is to get a close look at the damage.

"Everybody who comes in is going to take a picture so we can get a really good idea of what's happening with your skin," she said.

She explained that damage can range from the top layer to deeper in the skin. The cameras help determine the extent of the damage.

"So you do want to be thinking, 'is there anything I can do to prevent damage from getting worse and is there anything I can do to fix the damage that is already there?'" said Taghizadeh.

The good news? There are things you can do at home.

First, Taghizadeh said you should exfoliate every week.

"That's going to increase the cell turnover in your skin, make you rebuild new skin cells," she said.

Second, she said using kojic acid pads will help brighten the skin and is "also going to help remove some of those brown spots."

And know that even now that there's fall weather, the sun is still damaging. Taghizadeh recommended that people use mineral sunscreen, preferably with zinc oxide that provides better and healthier protection.

"That creates a physical barrier. It's kind of like putting a rock in front of your face so that the sun really can't get to your skin," said Taghizadeh.

If you have damage in the deeper levels, Taghizadeh said you need to start thinking of ways to reverse it. There are a few laser procedures available.

"All of these treatments are designed to stimulate cell turnover produce new skin cells that don't have damage in them and really help damage cells of the face," she said.

Every face is different, and how to treat the damage will depend on what you're looking for.

"If you like the way your face looks now, the more you invest in it now, the more you'll be able to keep it looking the way that it does," said Taghizadeh.