Go-To Skin Savers For Sun Damage

It's no secret that the sun's rays are responsible for wreaking havoc on the skin-think brown spots, wrinkles and dullness, not to mention more serious conditions like skin cancer. But are there ways to save your complexion? Absolutely.

Hydroquinone: This has long been the go-to prescribed at-home treatment for treating various signs of sun damage-from spots to discoloration-since it became FDA-approved. The skin-lightening agent works by inhibiting the production of melanin, the pigment that causes darkening of the skin and leads to hyperpigmentation. “Hydroquinone is much more effective than any other topical for eliminating hyperpigmentation and dark spots,” says Miami dermatologist Andrea Trowers, MD, who also prescribes supporting skin-care ingredients for sun –damaged skin in need of repair. “It works especially well when used in conjunction with retinoids and vitamin C, which help boost collagen.”

Non-ablative laser: The sun's ultraviolet rays trigger the pigment-producing melanosome cells (to make excess melanin), which leads to brown spots, blotches and uneven skin tone-all telltale signs that sun damage is surfacing on your skin. But there is a new way to stop the cycle. Fraxel's latest non-ablative laser, the re:store Dual System, safely penetrates the skin down to the dermis to target fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and even precancerous lesions-and the manufacturer claims there's less downtime and redness associated with this up-to-the-minute treatment.

Prevention: This is also key to saving your skin. Wear a daily sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to stave off harmful UV rays. Also, support the skin with ingredients like retinol, antioxidants and peptides to stimulate cell turnover, boost collagen production and protect the skin.