You’ve heard us barking at you for quite some time now about protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. It’s for your own good…really! At worst, you’re putting yourself at risk for skin cancer, which can be deadly. But more commonly, you’re subjecting yourself to prematurely aging skin.
You know: Wrinkles. Sun spots. Dry, dull skin. But try as we may, chances are you’ve hit the beach during your winter vacay and forgotten to reapply your SPF or got stuck watching a soccer game with no SPF in your bag. Well, stop beating yourself up. Instead, tackle your sun damage issues in one of four ways.
Yes, we’re going to tell you again: Prevent damage with a SPF sunscreen of at least 30, and one that’s water-resistant and blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it every day, no matter how cloudy, and never, ever neglect the skin on your face. If you opt for one of the following treatments, SPF is essential to maintain your results.
Ask your dermatologist about a prescription of hydroquinone, the go-to treatment for dark spots caused by the sun thanks to its ability to block the enzyme that activates melanin production. Use it with vitamin C and retinoids (your derm can direct you) for a well-rounded skin-care regime.
For particularly stubborn spots, consider chemical peels or non-ablative lasers that remove the top layer of skin and improve discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles.
And finally, very dark spots can be ablated with another intensity of lasers that break up discoloration deep in the skin. The treated spot will take a week or so to fully heal and you’ll see final results in a few months.
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