Q. During and after summer, I find that the dark spots above my upper lip, cheekbones and forehead become more noticeable. What can you recommend?
Dr. Linda Miles, D.O.M., responds:
A. You’re not alone. It’s as if one moment you’re outside enjoying the summer sun, the next you’re staring at brown spots, discoloration and uneven skin tone. Chalk it up to visible sun damage from exposure to UV radiation. When skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays, cells in the basal layer (the innermost layer of the epidermis) called melanocytes trigger the production of melanin, the dark pigment you see in your skin.
While this process is the skin’s way of protecting itself, the results may seem hard to reverse. But fear not! Making a few key adjustments to your summer skin care routine can make all the difference. You don’t need to rely on expensive laser treatments, harmful bleaches and hydroquinone. With these 3 easy skin-brightening steps, you can see your skin become more evenly toned, naturally.
1. 3-in-1 Daily Moisturizer
Switch out your daily moisturizer for one that includes vitamin C, SPF plus skin-brightening botanicals. Yes, it exists! Try derma e® Evenly Radiant® Brightening Day Crème SPF 15. This radiance-boosting daytime moisturizer contains full spectrum UVA/UVB protection to help protect skin from the short and long UV rays responsible for burning and the visible signs of aging. An Intensive Skin Brightening Complex of vitamin C, madonna lily plant stem cells, bearberry, vitamin B3 and licorice help inhibit the formation of melanin to help fight discoloration, brighten skin and even out tone for a more luminous complexion. Plus, antioxidants from green tea add an additional layer of sun and age defense.
Used daily, skin showing signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, age spots and dark spots can soon have a youthful, gorgeous glow. For the ultimate skin brightening routine, try the Evenly Radiant® Brightening Serum underneath your moisturizer and use the Evenly Radiant® Brightening Night Crème in the evening.
A step not to be missed in your summer skin care routine: exfoliate skin with alpha hydroxy acids once or twice a week. The derma e® Overnight Peel features a non-abrasive 5% blend of glycolic, Lactic and Malic Acids at a pH of 3.5 to safely and effectively remove dull, dead surface skin. This effect is threefold, promoting healthy cell renewal, enabling your moisturizers and treatments to work at peak performance and resurfacing skin to help fade dark spots and discoloration. With every use of the Overnight Peel, skin tone becomes more radiant, pigmentation is evened and age spots are visibly diminished, leaving you with a healthy, radiant glow.
Target stubborn dark spots and discoloration with more concentrated treatment. Ideal for your face and all parts of your body, derma e® Skin Lighten is fortified with alpha-arbutin, commonly sourced from the bearberry plant, which helps slow the activity of tyrosinase (an enzyme that triggers skin discoloration). Plus, with an innovative blend of herbs and vitamins such as licorice, milk thistle, ginseng and vitamins A and E, this formula inhibits the production of melanin, creating a dual-action product that more efficiently illuminates skin. As skin renews itself every 28 days, cells with less melanin will surface during this time, creating a lighter, more even skin tone.
While we most likely give our face the most attention, sun damage can occur on any skin that is exposed to UV rays. In fact, your hands are the second part of the body (after the face) that show signs of environmental damage, giving away your age. Skin Lighten works on any part of the body to fade age and dark spots, and even skin tone.
Keep in mind, a dose of daily sunshine is a healthy thing. However, if you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, always remember to apply a natural broad-spectrum sunscreen made with nanoparticle-free zinc oxide as well as antioxidants. And, wear protective clothing – a hat with a large brim, a lightweight scarf to protect your neck, a long-sleeve blouse to protect your arms and lightweight cotton pants to protect your legs.
Remember that sun damage is not always visible instantly and that even tanning is harmful. Sun damage today, tomorrow and next week will cause next year’s dark spots, discoloration and other visible signs of aging. Protect, hydrate, exfoliate and treat your skin to keep it youthful, flawless and radiant.