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Decreasing the damage – the best way to restore sun-damaged skin.
Skin Institute
October 2, 2017

Skincare is big business. People spend billions on serums, creams, and anti-aging elixirs every year – and Kiwis are no different. Everybody wants to make their skin look young again.

As our Skin Census 2017 survey shows, many New Zealanders need more education about the best way to treat sun-damaged skin. The survey showed that 76% of respondents have used an anti-ageing serum or product, while only 26% have had IPL treatment – a very effective way to reverse visible signs of sun damage.

While in-clinic treatments like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), microneedling, and laser resurfacing can seem expensive, they can actually be a cheaper option in the long run. Creams and serums, while individually more affordable, add up over years of use.

Sun damage and skin

Exposing skin to the sun can cause dramatic changes in tone, texture, and appearance over time. Skin reacts to the sun’s UVA by producing more melanin, which can cause freckles, spots, and liver spots. It can also lose elasticity and moisture, which results in sagging and wrinkling. Of course, there is also the risk of skin cancer, which is caused by UVB rays.

New Zealand’s sun is particularly harsh, with high levels of UV. This means New Zealanders experience sun damage and elevated skin cancer risks early – sometimes as young as 25.

Preventing sun damage and minimising the risk of skin cancer by using sunscreen,  covering up, and avoiding the sun are obviously the best options, but there are ways to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin.

Miracle creams and practical treatments

Our 2017 survey showed that New Zealand women are still relying on anti-ageing creams and serums to reduce the signs of sun damage. Unfortunately, most of these creams are fairly ineffective – and they can be very expensive. Many creams don’t penetrate beyond the first layer of skin, so have no effect on damage at the lower levels.

In-clinic treatments like microneedling, IPL, laser resurfacing, Botox, and fillers are much more likely to make a visible difference. IPL in particular reduces discolouration of the skin and helps stimulate collagen production – which makes the skin look smoother and more youthful. Laser resurfacing and microneedling can reduce the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone, while Botox and fillers can help with heavier lines and wrinkles.

Price versus results

Specialist skin treatments are seen as an expensive option by many New Zealanders.

However, a single IPL session can result in visibly improved skin – while years of using serums and moisturisers may not. Because some creams and serums are extremely expensive, and need to be used indefinitely, a series of treatments can be a better use of your skin-care budget.

Begin a lifetime of healthy, beautiful skin – book an appearance medicine consultation today.