HOW TO PREVENT SUN SPOTS
There is nothing more therapeutic than having your skin heated by the soothing sun. It’s like I can feel my skin being nourished with Vitamin D. And we actually do need the sun for producing vitamin D and maintaining your circadian rhythm. Yet, too much of anything is a bad thing, right? UV radiation is the culprit for sunspots and a variety of more serious skin damage including sunburn, signs of aging, and even skin cancer. It shows up on all the layers of our skin.
As someone who has carried two pregnancies (melasma is real!) and being Asian (we are predisposed to skin pigmentation). I am hypervigilant about erasing these spots and preventing sunspots from appearing in the first place.
Sunspots are caused by UV exposure which increases a skin pigment called melanin. However, instead of achieving an overall gorgeous glow, the excess pigment is produced in just one spot. It’s not an awesome look.
So here is what we can all do to prevent this excess pigment from forming in the first place.
DAILY, REGULAR, HABITUAL SUNSCREEN
Harvard Health recommends that we wear sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, daily.
Thankfully, I’m a sucker for sunscreen. In fact, one of my favorite times of the year is when Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit hits on the market. It’s a bag of Utopia for all of us skin fanatics. Sunscreen is the first thing I put on in the morning. Also, I reapply it throughout the day.
I’ve already done a post on my favorite sunscreens for the face, including a sunscreen powder which I use to reapply throughout the day. Also, you can read it here.
This is how I prepped my skin for my wedding. They remove the outer layer of skin (epidermis) which is great for treating fine lines as well as getting rid of dead skin, acne, and uneven skin tone which results from hormones or sun exposure.
Chemical peels improve the appearance of sun spots by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. This new skin is smoother and cleaner in appearance. Also, chemical peels are much more surface level, however than IPL facials since it only touches the top surface.
There are light peels called AHA aka Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels which are very surface level and take about 5 days to heel.
There are medium grade peels called Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peels, which is what I used to do. This takes about 15 minutes and treats fine lines, surface level acne and slight skin imperfections. Expect some peeling and redness to occur after.
Then there are higher grade chemical peeps called Carbolic Acid or Phenol Peels which needs to be performed by a physician because it requires general anesthesia.
This is for those with deeper wrinkles and deeper and darker spots.
Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (see above) that exfoliates the skin and can treat the sunspots on the skin.
If you want an over-the-counter glycolic acid that you can use at home, I love:
The Ordinary’s 7% toning solution.
It offers a gentle exfoliation for improved skin radiance and texture. Be sure to check out all of The Ordinary’s products. They have their own brick and mortar store or you can buy their products online.
Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate molecule that is naturally occurring in our bodies but the production if it diminishes as we age (just like collagen). That’s right, it’s already in your skin! Its main activity is delivering moisture to our skin- but if compounded with Vitamin C, it also reduces brown spots!
I’m a big fan of REPLENIX, which my dermatologist recommended to me.
My friend Melissa Haloosim at Skinthesis recommended Skinmedica’s Lytera to me. It’s a skin lightening serum and she said to use it daily. In addition, it’s great on its own or as the perfect preparation for one of her skin lightening treatments. You can buy it from the Skinmedica, Skinthesis or Amazon.
I’ll be trying out one of her treatments soon! Stay tuned for that!
I have not done this yet, but I am dying to! Freezing or cryotherapy is a procedure whereby liquid nitrogen or another freezing agent is applied to the dark spot to destroy the excess pigment. As the area heals, the skin appears lighter. It sounds amazing if you ask me. I think trying this out is next on my list!
I have hats. Everywhere. In my car. In my gym bag. Everywhere. And I have baseball hats, straw hats, bucket hats, you name it. It seems so obvious, but be sure to wear protective clothing such as…yes, HATS! Even the NIH prescribes it!
This one is a recent purchase and one of my faves since I can wear it with a ponytail or bun!
YOU GOTTA WEAR SHADES
Not only do you get to look cool, but putting on those sunnies protects the skin around your eyes, preventing them from getting dark spots and freckles. It’s a super sensitive area around your face, so sunglasses are always the first thing I grab before heading out the door.
Here’s a post I did on the coolest shades to wear as advised by my coolest friends.
And now this is where you’re going to think (or learn) that I’m totally cray cray. I wear driving gloves whenever I remember. I love Ilimunage’s gloves since they’re fingerless so you have control over the steering wheel or phone – or whatever requires fingers. Also, they are high tech and copper-infused which are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of hand wrinkles and age spots! I’ve spoken about them on the blog before. I’m a huge fan. Furthermore, I’m obsessed with their sleeping mask and pillowcase too!
++ And that’s it, party people! Thank you for reading my post on HOW TO PREVENT SUNSPOTS! I hope it helped. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!