Summer sunshine is fabulous while it lasts. But when it comes to our skin, months of UV exposure can take its toll, leaving complexions feeling somewhat under the weather.

Luckily there are plenty of ways to give your skin a post-summer pick me up. We caught up with skincare guru Linda Horan from Borealis Natural Skincare to discover how best to pep up a weather-damaged complexion.

Beauty Q&A: Caring for sun-damaged skin

Which foods are good for your skin when it has been exposed to the sun?

Red and orange fruit and vegetables are packed with carotenoids, which may help to reduce sun damage intensity. So, carrots, beetroot, peppers, oranges etc all have beneficial qualities as well as tasting great and hydrating you. Spinach, kale and Swiss chard contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce damage caused by UVA light. Meanwhile, Omega 3 fatty acids contained fish guard against sunburn and cell damage.

How can you help your skin recover from sun damage?

Often the effects of sun damage aren’t felt until five to six hours after exposure. Cool the skin down with a cold flannel, ideally the water should have a couple of drops of pure lavender in to help reduce inflation, cool skin and help with itching. Calamine lotion also helps to reduce itching and the irritation that accompanies it. Pure aloa vera hydrates and cools and nourishes the skin.

How can you help your skin recover from long-term sun damage?

Wear a sunscreen every day, including the winter months. If you have sun damage on the face and neck area, wear at least a broad spectrum SPF 25 daily. Some people opt for chemical peels to remove the layer of skin cells, including a top layer of brown spots. Alternatively, glycolic acid is an active ingredient that removes several layers of dead cells.

Other treatments include dermabrasion and intense pulsed light therapy. A natural approach would be to use natural exfoliators such as jojoba beads and ground apricot kernel. Face oils will also help as they tend to be omega rich in oils so nourish and protect the skin whilst you sleep if used at night when the skin is not exposed to UV light and environmental pollutants.

Superfoods are just as important to feed your skin from the inside so Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils, lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein all help to restore the lustre to skin. Supplements may help depending on age and overall health and eating habits.