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Sun spots, age spots, dark spots, liver spots. Whatever you call them, one thing’s for sure - they’re giving the age game away and we want rid. And we don’t just mean caking our skin in make-up; we want them off our face now (and yes we’re aware we sound like skin brats).
Uneven skin tone is usually courtesy of sun damage. Blame all those hours of hard work you put in on your summer holidays so you could proudly show friends your excellent tan lines. So although some souvenirs from your 1998 Corfu holiday were worth keeping (unfortunately the handsome Greek waiter wouldn’t fit into your suitcase, but we’ve still got the token tea towel) brown blotches and a smattering of freckles probably aren’t one of them.
So what do you want first, bad news or good news? Always bad first, right? There is nothing you can do to actually reverse the effects of sun damage – don’t weep – but there are plenty of things to dramatically reduce the appearance of it.
Option 1: Acids
Admittedly, slapping acid on your face seems frightening but it’s totally safe and it is in more products than you think. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic, lactic and citric acid, are in almost every skincare line and they resurface the skin to reduce the appearance of pesky marks.
Option 2: Vitamins
Is there no end to the benefits of vitamin C? Seems not. It slows down the production of pigmentation by inactivating free radicals released by sun exposure. It’s also a much softer approach to sun spots so eat it, slap it on, hell, bathe in it if you have to – the stuff can do no wrong.
Option 3: Retinoids
What even are they? Well, they exfoliate skin but also contain alcohol to balance oil production and thicken the skin’s deepest layer while simultaneously flattening the surface to make it smoother. They make you feel (and look) like you’ve got new skin. Clever stuff.
Option 4: Chemical peels
One of the more ‘scary’ of the options, but man alive does it give good results. What happens is that acid removes the top layer of your skin (totally safe if a professional is doing it - do not panic) to make room for the new skin underneath. Your skin does shed and re-grow naturally anyway – this just forces it into action.
Option 5: Dermabrasion
This is in the same ballpark as the chemical peels as far as thriller rating goes but, again, it’s totally safe. It’s a wee bit painful but to resurface the skin you need to be prepared for a bit of tingling. This does feel a bit like you’ve put sandpaper to you face but the results are worth it. No pain, no gain, right?