We've all done it before... Spent too much time out in the sun without adequate sun protection for our skin and received a sunburn. Years ago, people thought that having a sunburn was adding a "healthy glow" to our complexion and was good for us. While a certain amount of sun on the skin is indeed healthy, providing us with a great source of vitamin D, it is important to limit your exposure to reasonable time limits.

Also, when first going out into the sun early in the spring and summer season, direct exposure should be limited to 5-10 minutes per day. Gradually increasing your exposure by a few extra minutes as the season goes on. This gradual exposure will help you to develop a "base tan" and reduces the chances of getting a potentially dangerous full-on sunburn.

Careful as we might be, the sun can eventually take it's toll on our skin and cause damaged skin cells which appear as freckles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. While there are many expensive ways of trying to repair some of these signs of skin damage, it may be best to start with a few methods which can be done inexpensively and in the privacy of your own home.

Store bought exfoliants and topical retinoids are economical, easily applied and will reduce signs of aging along with smoothing rough skin texture. Creams containing Vitamin A are also recommended as they have been proven to speed up the growth of new skin cells and increase the body's natural production of collagen.

If none of these over the counter products provide the desired results, there are more invasive treatment methods which may be employed by a dermatologist or other qualified skin care professional. Popular methods today include chemical peels, plasma skin resurfacing and fraxel laser treatment.

While there are many treatment options available, it is important to remember that an ounce of prevention is still equal to a pound of cure. Applying a sunblock with a minimum 15 spf along with a hat and other protective clothing is the number one way to avoid getting sun damaged skin in the first place!