Sun damage is the leading cause of the symptoms of aging skin: wrinkles, roughness, sagginess and brown spots. When I was in my 20s, my generation liked to bake in the sun with nothing but baby oil in between our skin and the relentless rays of the sun. Unfortunately, that now shows on a lot of our complexions. There is good news however: Treatments and products can help reverse some of that damage and we can use our newfound knowledge of sun care to take care of our skin from now on.

TREAT: A favorite of dermatologists, retinol (and its prescription-strength version, retinoid tretinoin) is known for stimulation collagen production and increasing cell turnover, resulting in wrinkle reduction and some sagginess reversal. Either get a prescription for a retinoid tretinoin or go with an over-the-counter retinol like those made by ROC and Strivectin.

For sun-induced brown spots that don’t exactly double as cute freckles, use a cream or serum with kojic acid, a natural botanical acid. One popular product to try is SkinCeuticals Phyto+ gel. These products even your complexion without the side effects you sometimes get with skin lighteners like hydroquinone. Just remember to use a broad-based sunscreen over this, or any other, serum or cream.

PREVENT: Prevent future skin damage by wearing a broad-based sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. According to, this also allows your skin time to heal and allows your immune system to repair existing damage. If you sweat or swim, reapply regularly. And don’t forget to check expiration dates. Sunscreens lose their effectiveness after a couple of years.

Drink up! Water, that is. Increased water intake is important during the summer, as the sun (even incidental sun exposure, such as that when your driving or walking in and out of buildings) can dry out your skin. So up your intake during warm summer months.