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How to Get Rid of Dark Spots and Sun Damage:FSB


“Age spots! Seriously, the older I get the worse they are. I wear a nice healthy SPF of at least 30 on my face. Everyday. Is there a real and true product that can lighten them?” – Jennifer P, Charleston, WV
Ah, dark spots. Kind of seems like every morning you look in the mirror past a certain age, there’s another mark on your face. Those “age spots” are hyper-pigmentation from years of fun in the sun. Depending on how much time you spent in the sun over your lifetime and how much sunscreen you wore religiously from childhood on, there could be one spot or many more waiting to rise to the surface. It’s also partnered with fine lines, wrinkles, and sallow and/or rough textured skin as a condition known as photodamage. We know it as photoaging, which is the long-term effects of prolonged sun exposure.
Joy.
Those dark spots happen because of prior damage. Each one of those spots represents a place where you’ve had previous damage to the skin from a sunburn or maybe a bad scrape. When the sun hits your body, your skin’s #1 job is to protect your organs underneath, so it sends melanin to the spot to protect harmful UV rays from coming through. Think of it as your skin throwing up a melanin umbrella where there’s damage done.
The issue with hyperpigmentation is that it’s hard to eradicate entirely, but it is possible. If you use a product that can break up the melanin clusters at the surface, over time the spots will fade from view. That said, it will be incredibly hard to keep them from coming back because every time you head into the sun, the skin will start to react again.
That said, if you want to get rid of them, this is how:
  1. You want to use a product that repairs photodamage from the inside, like Neova DNA Total Repair ($99). This brand, sold via dermatologists and medi-spas across the country, has a particular focus on repairing the skin from the inside out. This product dives down deep to help diminish all the effects we know are germane to aging: fine lines, wrinkles, and — you guessed it — dark spots. It’s a serum that’s gentle enough to use twice a day, even on sensitive skin. I’d use that morning (under your sunscreen and day cream with SPF) and night. Which brings me to…
  2. You need to use sunscreen like it’s your job. Neova has a good one, the DNA Damage Control Active SPF 43 ($46.) This is a physical sunscreen that not only protects against future damage, but it also acts like a tiny diffused lens to help diminish the signs of aging that are already there. The sunscreen is water resistant up to 80 minutes, so it’s great for outdoor summer activities. That said, you need to slather sunscreen on every part of your body exposed to the sun, and reapply at least once every hour if you’re in direct sunlight. That is non-negotiable. I would also recommend wearing a wide brim hat every single time you go in the sun now.
  3. Every night before you go to bed and after you use the serum (see #1,) you need to apply a moisturizer that helps restore lost moisture, repairs damage, and rebuilds collagen. Neova has a good one (I love this product): Creme de la Copper ($110.) It contains copper peptides, which act as superconductors for skin cells to help them turn over and rebuild like they used to do. It also contains the same DNA repair technology as your serum, so the results should boost each other for really great results. Wash your face, apply your serum, and then use this as a night cream.
I’m also throwing in the Intensive Lip Repair ($22), because all of us really need to take better care of our lips and, if you’re like me, your lips are getting more dry as you get older. That happens. This also has the copper peptides inside, which should help lock in moisture and repair your lips.
That said, these steps have to be followed religiously. The only way to see the true effects of a beauty regimen is if you follow it to the letter and without fail. You may not see results for a couple of weeks or more. KEEP GOING. The dark spots didn’t happen overnight, so they won’t leave that fast. Also, you’ll see the best results of getting rid of dark spots in the fall and winter when there’s less sun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start now.
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