Now that summer is over, are you noticing that your skin tone is not as even as you’d like? Perhaps you’re noticing dark spots or patches. If you spent a lot of time in the sun, or were less than diligent about applying sunscreen, you might experience hyperpigmentation, also known as age or sun spots. These areas of excess pigmentation can be difficult to lighten but there is help and with persistence, you can definitely see improvement.
You’ve likely heard about the concerns surrounding hydroquinone, a chemical bleaching agent that many skin care companies have stopped using due to complaints of irritation and questions about safety. Because of all of the controversy, many skin care companies have phased out hydroquinone and gone with gentler, botanical based lighteners.
These natural extracts include kojic acid (derived form mushrooms), mulberry and licorice. When applied topically, they can effectively break up excess pigmentation that forms in the layers of the skin. When combined with skin exfoliating alpha and beta hydroxy acids the results are even better. If you’re not sure where to start, you might try incorporating one lightening product into your regimen to see how your skin reacts.Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum uses grape and honeysuckle flower extracts to boost the radiance of your complexion. SkinCeuticals Phyto+ is an advanced lightening gel that combines four active ingredients to diminish discoloration and improve overall skin health. Microdermabrasion can be very effective for maintaining an even complexion, but if you don’t have the time or the budget to visit your dermatologist you may want to consider one of the many at-home tools available, such as the Personal Microderm Tool Kit. It’s especially important to use a sunscreen while using any kind of brightening product as you don’t want to reverse any progress you’re making. La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid and NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 are both effective broad-spectrum formulas.
Persistence pays off when it comes to lightening dark spots. Most people can expect to start seeing results after 6-8 weeks of continual use. Exceptionally dark and old spots will generally take longer to fade.