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Hey everyone,

I've got really dehydrated and damaged skin... Just went on vacation and got really sunburned, bad idea I know but I really did not realize that I was burning until it was way too late. A month later I'm still not back to normal. What is the best skincare regime to revitalize my damaged and dehydrated skin? I am open to any ideas as long as they can help - peels, creams, serums, masks, you name it, I'm interested. I'd also like to know how long it will take before I see an improvement with any product you recommend.

TIA!!! :)

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Hey,

By "dehydrated", do you mean "dry"?

If you think you are actually dehydrated, drinking enough water should be a huge priority for you — besides that, it can be a good tip for anyone with dry skin. If you are not actually dehydrated though, well, there are a lot of things that can cause dry and damaged skin, which I have myself too. Air pollution, exposure to sun, wind, cold, rain, all of these things can create long-term damage to the skin along with exposure to smoke and a lack of exercise, among other things. 

In your case, though, sun damage seems to be the main problem. Being sunburned can really damage your skin. Because this is a systemic problem rather than a surface problem, I would focus on "from the inside out" care for your skin and your body. 

This could include eating a diet rich in Vitamin C, which speeds healing, ensuring you get enough protein, eat fich rich in Omega 3 fatty acids for a faster recovery, and exercise daily, even if it is only a brisk walk. Cut out junk foods and definitely avoid sugar for a while. I find drinking green tea or chamomile tea with a little honey really helps, plus chamomile tea bags applied straight to your face reduce inflammation as well. 

You do need a rich moisturizer such as one that contains avocado oil, but it should not be the only thing you do for your skin. 

Rosie

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Mmmmm.... though it's been a while already, why not try some of the tips people use right after being sunburned? I mean, putting cucumbers on the skin, which is mainly water and antioxidants anyways, can never do your skin any harm, you know? Aloe vera is another good one that is really very good for sensitive skin no matter if you were sunburned or not. Hydrocortisone cream is the serious stuff, and if I were you I'd be getting some of that. It's not just good for short term healing but also promotes damage reduction over the longer term, so that sounds like a safe bet right now, right? And yeah, do chug water in ginormous quantities... it can never do your skin any harm. 

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If I were you, I would look into getting a chemical peel done, perhaps a TCA peel. Peels are "mega exfoliators", really. What they do is encourage the damaged outer layer of your skin to peel off, which of course does mean that you will look a bit weird for a week to 10 days or so, and reveal the new, better looking skin underneath. TCA peels will help you with acne, sun damage, and even finer wrinkles. It sounds like your skin is in need of some serious TLC. Just make sure that if you do have the peel done, that you take extra care to apply that SPF afterwards.
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I would start by looking for a really good moisturizer to return some hydration to that skin of yours! Here are some suggestions for you.

  • Clinique moisture surge intense skin fortifying hydrator. For dry to very dry skin. This is oil free and does not contribute to causing acne.
  • Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream. Has natural ingredients including mango butter, smells fantastic, and comes in an ever so pretty package. 
  • Estee Lauder Hydrationist. Anti-aging and very suitable for people who have very dry skin. 

In addition, consider your diet. Drink plenty of water. Do not forget about that sunscreen. I'm sure your skin will be back to normal soon enough.

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If you sincerely believe that your skin is "damaged" as opposed to just dry and recovering from sunburn, to the point where this is visible, I would advise you to see a dermatologist. As far as I understand, reversing damage is easier sooner after it occurred rather than later, and dermatologists can suggest treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and even laser treatment to help you recover. You can even just see your family doctor for some advice if you are not willing to go to a dermatologist, and they may give you some prescription cream.
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I was suffering from extremely dry skin when a friend gave me a bottle of black seed oil, an oil that is very popular in the Middle East and has been for a long time. It works for me. The oil absorbs very quickly, has a very pleasant smell to it, and seems to provide lasting hydration even though I carry it around and use it multiple times a day. The area around my elbows was so dry that it was occasionally bleeding, but that has now stopped. I don't know if it would work for you, but it helped me tons and I put it everywhere!
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