By: Marlene Garcia, LME
It seems you really notice all your brown spots when summer rolls around. They’re darker than ever before and since they’ve made their presence known you’ve decided to finally do something about it. Well unfortunately, for those of you who love being outdoors all summer long, now is not the time to peel your faces nor explore laser resurfacing. Now is the time to protect your skin and prevent further brown spots from developing. So, what do we do beyond sunscreen to minimize the appearance of dark spots or better yet never appear? And what products are safe to use during the summer months? Here are 5 tips and topicals to help keep sun spots away.
- Eat the rainbow. Let’s start from the inside out and eat our way to healthier protection. Studies show that a combination of vitamins C and E provide protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and can make for a great daily salad or smoothie. Did you know that strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and act like natural sunblock? The beta-carotene found in carrots converts to Vitamin A and may help reduce sunburns. Furthermore, supplement when needed with a good multi-vitamin that includes A, C, E, copper, and zinc plus add omegas for overall skin health.
Topical Pairing: Use a daily antioxidant serum with vitamin C and E such as SkinMedica Vitamin C + E Complex. It has a silky formulation that gradually delivers high levels of the stable vitamins to the skin for all day long protection.
- Stay cool and hydrated. Heat sensitivity can also affect your skin and can even darken pigmentation. If you’re going to enjoy the outdoors, then find a shady spot with a cool breeze, wear a hat and sunglasses, and drink LOTS of water to stay fully hydrated. Depending on your heat sensitivity, you may want to avoid steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, and even hot yoga. Especially if you’re already prone to skin pigmentation disorders such as melasma.
Topical Pairing: Quench your skin with SkinMedica HA5. It has five forms of hyaluronic acid to give your skin time-released hydration throughout the day. Plus, the potent antioxidants in their Vitisence technology supports skin health improving how your skin makes its own hyaluronic acid. Bottom Line: the longer you use it the more hydrated your skin feels. Drink up.
- Reapply! I had to include sunscreen reapplication because all sunscreens are not created equal. And I wouldn’t be a good aesthetician if I didn’t. To get the most out of your sunscreen it needs to have Zinc or Titanium Dioxide. Preferably both. The higher the percentage of those two active ingredients, the better. And no matter what the SPF is you still must reapply every two hours to get full protection against all the rays of the sun, pollution, and blue light exposure from our electronics which we now know are aging us. That’s right, our phones and computers emit radiation in the form of blue light. If you’re staring into a computer screen at work for 8 hours a day or you’re on Instagram for as long as I am, then you MUST reapply your sunscreen.
Topical Pairing: Reapply every two hours with Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50. It contains both Zinc and Titanium Dioxide in one-convenient, on-the-go application and can be worn alone or over make-up. A must have!
- Healthy, gentle exfoliation. All skin types but especially oilier skin will require maintenance exfoliation to prevent dead skin build and clogged pores especially with the increase use of sunscreen. I suggest exfoliating one to three nights a week with a gentle chemical and mechanical cleanser that has a smooth bead exfoliant like jojoba beads. These gentle exfoliants are safer for your skin and the environment because they are naturally biodegradable. And you’ll want to keep up healthy exfoliation to help manage sun related brown spots with a gentle acid cream used three nights a week. However, you want to make sure you stop any exfoliation three days prior to long term sun exposure.
Topical Pairing: You can find Lactic, Glycolic, Citric, Malic, and Salicylic acids in SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser and Cream. These acids work together to improve tone and texture while revealing brighter skin. Plus, the cleanser has soft jojoba spheres to gently exfoliate your skin without irritation.
- Sleep and GLOW up. Proper sleep has a long list of health of benefits and by now we all know that getting your beauty sleep isn’t just a saying. A good night of sound sleep will brighten the skin, produce antioxidants, and lower levels of stress and thus decreasing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that isn’t too kind to our skin causing imbalances in oil production, fine lines and wrinkles, and age spots. If that isn’t enough to convince you to get enough sleep then you should know that our skin naturally goes through its own repair cycle and cell regeneration at night. So, get off your phone, wash your face, apply the right skin care, and go to bed!
Topical Pairing: I recommend SkinMedica Lumivive Day and Night system to help you face the day and revive your skin at night. The Lumivive Day serum packs powerful antioxidants that fight the impact of blue light, pollution, and heat. While the Lumivive Night serum helps the skin rapidly recover overnight by increasing collagen and detoxifying the skin of any aggressors. The two together will improve skin health and vitality and give your skin that healthy GLOW it deserves.