Age spots. Freckles. Sun spots. Liver spots. No matter what you call these small- to medium-sized flat, dark markings, they’re all collections of pigment known as melanin. And, we want them to go away!
Melanin is caused by prolonged exposure to ultra violet (UV) rays. Sun spots can appear at any age and typically affect people with lighter skin more frequently, but anyone can get them. Because they are triggered by sun exposure, most of our guests tend to notice them at the end of summer. But, what if you are cautious in the sun, diligently use sunscreen, and still notice them popping up? Well, do you remember at one point in your life greasing up and basking in the sun with baby oil in hopes of getting darker? Unfortunately, most of us do. So, the damage was probably done years ago. The good news is that they are usually not harmful. Of course, always check with a dermatologist if you are concerned about a spot on your skin. Once he or she determines that it is not harmful, there are many options available for treating the discoloration.
First thing’s first: invest in a UVA/UVB broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Sun protection is the single most important thing you can do. No need to purchase a product with a SPF higher than 50, as they all only last 2-3 hours. You should apply sunscreen every morning, even if you’re only driving to and from work – the rays still penetrate windows! And, be sure to make this a year-round habit – you can still be exposed to damaging rays in the fall, winter, and on rainy days. If you’re concerned about re-applying sunscreen after you’ve done your makeup, Danielle recommends using a “powder” sunscreen. This can be applied over makeup, making it easier for reapplication.
Next, she recommends that her clients invest in medical grade or skin care products, which have appropriate ingredient percentages, pH and packaging. For discoloration, she typically recommends SkinCeuticals, Glymed Plus, Vivant and Rhonda Allison. Aside from improving pigmentation, these products will also improve skin texture and yield a more youthful glow. Keep in mind, you need to allow at least 1 – 4 weeks to see changes in your skin. Your skin has been exposed to years of harmful rays from the sun, so improvement is a process that can take a little time.
If you want to see faster results, Wendy recommends in-office treatments including chemical peels and/or a series of 3-5 IPL Photorejuvenation treatments. These are typically done every three to six weeks and you’ll notice considerable improvement with each treatment. Because your skin cannot be tan for IPL, fall is the perfect time to get started! Chemical peels and IPL will help to improve skin concerns like pigmentation, skin texture, pore size, and broken blood vessels.
To learn about the best treatment options for your individual skin concerns, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with one of our licensed master aestheticians.