My #1 Holistic Beauty & Health Tips for repairing Sun Damage~

My #1 Holistic BEAUTY & HEALTH TIPS FOR REPAIRING SUMMER SUN DAMAGE~ Repair Hyperpigmentation naturally both Internally and Externally…read about my professional methods~
Before I begin to share my knowledge about repairing the sun damage that most of us have acquired, I want to re-emphasize my philosophy about why going Natural, Organic, and non-chemical in our both our skin care products and food sources is so important.
A most important factor deals with our Food Sources and is especially integral to our overall health and well~being–this is the importance of getting rid of any pesticide residue on our Fruits and Vegetables (and it’s not just done by using the spray sold to help wash off pesticides.) Always buy organic foods if you’re able, and spray or soak any of your produce* with a solution of plain White Vinegar (or any type of inexpensive vinegar you have on hand) then rinse your produce off with pure water, drain in a colander to allow it to air dry and store appropriately in glass containers/mason jars, or non-bleached parchment paper [*except for something soft and permeable like mushrooms which you can do similarly by just wiping with a cloth with vinegar and follow with the same subsequent steps.]
I must stress how important this is, dear follower, to make you more aware of the importance of “waking up and taking action” to preserve your own health, the health of your family, and the health of our planet by lowering our exposure to toxins and unnecessary plastic containers. Exposure to dangerous chemicals in self-care and household products, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, Bisphenol A, or BPA from plastic water bottles and containers accumulates after repeated usage in our bodies and causes ailments and potential disease. This exposure is reflected in how healthy our skin appears and how it ages. My advice is to actively protect yourself and your loved ones.
I also want to pass along a Q & A session to educate you on the reasons WHY HYPER-PIGMENTATION OCCURS on our skin, and a couple of excellent NUTRITIONAL suggestions and supplements to counteract this prevalent occurrence which is the result of sun damage when you’ve been over-exposured to Sun.
During the course of my 26 year career as a Holistic Master Esthetician, Certified Aroma~Therapist, and Spa Owner, I’ve often answered QUESTIONS from clients and friends about one topic or another regarding how to take care of their skin.
This one I am sharing is from KC (my client for 19 years, approx. age 40)~
“Hi, Mary, I am noticing freckling on my décolleté!!! I wear my sunblock everywhere, but am really worried about it. I am so mad at myself for running that last marathon and getting burned. I think that did a lot of damage and don’t know what to do now. I don’t want to have a gross neck and décolleté!!!! Is there a treatment you can do to help it? If yes, can we do it on my next facial? Like I said, I wear my sunblock everywhere but I want to do more. I don’t want to look old and leathery!! Help!! Thank you! Love, K.”
from: Mary of Simply Nirvana~
“Hello, K., My suggestion to your questions and concerns regarding hyperpigmentation on your décolleté would be to continue using your sunscreen everyday and when you are outdoors during the daytime to wear clothing that covers that area. Mist with your floral water or hydrating tonic and follow (while your skin is still damp) with your favorite gel serum, and finish with a light moisturizer to set everything.
Be sure to use a gentle, yet effective LIGHTENING SERUM on your decollete and other sun damaged areas–this is an essential product for this season and the present sun-damaged condition of your skin.**
I highly recommend~ OSEA’s Brightening Serum with which you are familiar~
When you come for your facial, I will do a very special treatment on that delicate décolleté area. Looking forward to seeing you at your next appointment. Thank you, M.”
**Also as a pro-active measure, I highly recommended to my client that she add a natural, dietary supplement to her already conscious healthy diet called PYCNOGENOL that would assist in repairing her current damage and also serve as a preventative measure to future damage offering help with the healing of her hyperpigmentation.
I knew that Pycnogenol is a very powerful ANTIOXIDANT so it would help with hyperpigmentation which is a result of free radical damage in the body triggered by too much sun exposure. And when K. mentioned that she also had found out about it after researching her newly acquired skin condition, we put our knowledge together and decided that including Pycnogenol in her program of reversing the sun damage along with faithfully using her skin care products should be her pro-active course of action.
 At a later date, I was grateful to receive more background research from K. regarding Pycnogenol in the form of two articles that she passed onto me. I will extract the most important information for you to read from a medical article extract~
“Melasma (or cholasma) is a common disorder of cutaneous hyperpigmentation predominantly affecting sun-exposed areas in women. The pathogenesis of melasma is not fully understood and treatments are frequently disappointing and often associated with side effects.
Pycnogenol is a standardized extract of the French Maritime Pine (tree)–Pinus pinaster, a well-known potent antioxidant. Studies in vitro show that Pycnogenol is several times more powerful than Vitamin E and Vitamin C. In addition, it recycles Vitamin C, regenerates Vitamin E, and increases the endogenous antioxidant
enzyme system. Pycnogenol protects against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Therefore, its efficacy in the treatment of melasma was investigated. Thirty women with melasma completed a 30-day clinical trial in which they took one 25 mg. tablet of Pycnogenol with meals three times a day, i.e., 75 mg Pycnogenol per day. These patients were evaluated clinically by parameters such as the melasma area index, pigmentary intensity index and by routine blood and urine tests.
**After a 30-day treatment, the average melasma area of the patients decreased by 25.86+20.39mm(2) (p<0.001) and the average pigmentary intensity decreased by 0.47+0.51unit (p.<0,001). The general effective rate was 80%. No side effect was observed. The results of the blood and urine test parameters at baseline and at day 30 were within the normal range. Moreover, several other associated symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, pains in the body and anxiety were also improved.”
**I am repeating these findings for emphasis since the results were so impressive: 80% OF TEST SUBJECTS SAW AN IMPROVEMENT AFTER 30 DAYS of supplementation with PYCNOGENOL at 25mg with meals 3x a day (or 75mg daily total).
And, to expand on my answer to KC, in my next NOTE, I will present a step by step skin care regimen–My repairing “Too Much Sun Exposure” Regenerating Facial Protocol utilizing the very effective OSEA SEAWEED SKIN CARE LINE which is the best at-home SELF-CARE TREATMENT to do as a panacea for hyper-pigmentation.
If you notice freckles, sun spots, redness, or dehydration on your skin presently, BEGIN doing this regimen TODAY, and then for 3x per week for two- three weeks…six to nine treatments in total… to really facilitate the repair, re-hydration and healing of your skin in order to lessen the resulting hyper-pigmentation from your sunburn, and to re-vitalize your skin after Summer and before and during the season of Autumn. PLEASE SEE MY NOTE entitled “Too Much Sun Exposure” Renewing Facial Ritual Protocol that has been published on my FB page and also on YOUR SKIN ADVISOR which can be accessed from this blog’s page in a few days.
Here is another excerpt from a second article collaborating the effectiveness of Pycnogenol~
“Much has been documented about the health benefits of consuming the antioxidant, Pycnogenol, as a means of deterring premature skin aging… Pycnogenol is the registered trademark for the unique extract obtained from the bark of French maritime pine trees…It is a super antioxidant in that it is 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E in fighting free radicals. It is dramatically more effective than lipoic acid and grape seed extract (when used in topical application). Studies have shown that it is 98% effective in fighting free radicals in skin tissue. In addition to its potent antioxidant activity, Pycnogenol also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, and supports microcirculation.
UV radiation damages collagen and elastin, creates free radical damage, and causes skin inflammation. This extract contains substances that decrease the symptoms of chronic inflammation and protects the skin from sun damage, smog, pollution, and damaging free radicals.
Wrinkles are the result of the breakdown of the fibers that support our skin, namely collagen and elastin. Pycnogenol works by binding to these fibers thereby inhibiting enzymes and free radicals from breaking them down. As a result, the development of wrinkles is deterred. (However), very few products contain this potent antioxidant because it is expensive…The easiest way to determine if a product contains enough of the antioxidant is to look at its color. The extract is brown in color. Any product that lists it as an ingredient and is not brown, has an insignificant concentration of it. Its name should also be listed near the top of the ingredients printed on the package.”
My professional advice to clients who have sun damage would be to add Pycnogenol as a daily supplement to be taken internally since in my opinion beauty is way more than skin deep.
This more intensive double treatment to heal the sun damage both EXTERNALLY with a lightening serum, and INTERNALLY with the supplementation of Pycnogenol will brighten, lighten and even skin tone gradually and naturally and at a deeper systemic level than just either approach alone.
It is important to remember that although there is a plethora of skin lightening gels, lotions, creams and serums on the market today, many contain highly toxic ingredients in their formulations.
To increase your knowledge and make your selection easier, here is a list of skin lightening ingredients to avoid and why***!
1. HYDROQUINONE: Known to produce serious side effects when used over a long period of time.  It is reported to increase the risk of developing leukemia, liver cancer, skin irritation, irreversible hyperpigmentation, and reproductive damage. Hydroquinone photosensitizes the skin, making it susceptible to skin cancer. It is completely banned for use in cosmetics in Europe and Japan, and the FDA is considering a ban in the US.
2. CORTICOSTEROIDS: Used to suppress inflammation associated with skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Steroid creams contain powerful, (dangerous) ingredients…One of steroids side effects is skin lightening, but is can lead to skin problems such as steroid rosacea and thinning of the epidermis.
3. TRETINOIN: The Vitamin A derivative found in Retin A, Avita and Renova, aka tretinoin increases cellular turnover rate, thus eliminating pigment already pooled in the epidermis. Overuse can result in dry, thinner skin. Sensitive skin types can also experience redness, scaling, itching and burning. Thinner skin can increase susceptibility to deleterious effects of UV exposure.
4. RETINOL: Has similar exfoliant properties to tretinoin. A very recent study indicates that retinol and retinyl may accelerate the growth of skin cancer when used in sunscreen.
5. GLYCOLIC ACID: This Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) expedites cellular exfoliation, and serves the same purpose as tretinoin and retinol…again, the long term side effect of greater UV susceptibility obviates the short term skin lightening effect.
6. ALCOHOL: If your skin has a tendency to develop hyperpigmentation, it is also a good idea to shun products containing [isopropyl] alcohol which can accelerate the problem.
***This information is extracted from article #2 in a 4 part series on Skin Lighteners from the Marie Veronique Organics blog circa 2010.
Although I realize this ‘Transitioning from LATE SUMMER into AUTUMN’ NOTE regarding both health and beauty tips to assist in correcting hyper-pigmentation contains a lot of information for you to absorb all at once, I wanted to put together facts I had collected over the years along with the latest research to give you a comprehensive text you could refer to over time in order to understand how important sun protection is, and to recommend natural pro-active ways to lessen and treat sun damage. I trust it will prove informative to you, dear reader.