The sun literally damages your skin every time it touches it! Sun spots occur when melanin in the skin reacts with the sun’s rays, thereby producing pigment. Even the most sun savvy are bound to show these signs of damage.
So how can you get rid of those annoying brown spots? For the answer, we turned to three experts: Bobby Wells, a makeup artist; Fini Leijssius, an esthetician; and Victoria Karlinsky, a cosmetic surgeon.
THE MAKEUP ARTIST: There is a magic mask for sun spots — the Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliating Mask. Use at least once a week for buttery soft skin. Its immediate brightening effect happens through its enzyme complex and nutritive algae from the sea. Another spot buster is the CE Ferulic Serum from Skinceuticals. High levels of vitamin C make it an instant skin brightener, however, your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight so you must also wear sunscreen. Koh Gen Do also offers a highly effective Brightening Moisture Mask, which pulls impurities while fighting dark spots and freckles. Wells also recommends using makeup for covering sun spots, but to go darker when selecting a foundation. If you use a lighter base/foundation, the sun spots become more apparent and the skin will appear ashy (giving you a grey, sallow tone). Also, try a skin brightener like the By Terry Primer which contains crushed pearls to deflect from the dark patches. Lastly, a skin tone can be brightened by the consumption of vegetables and fruits, so it's time to listen to your mom and eat your fruits and veggies — especially the blueberries and leafy green vegetables.
THE ESTHETICIAN: Addressing sunspots takes a two-prong approach. First, you want to lighten spots by encouraging cell turnover with a regular exfoliation. The second is to prevent future sunspots with vitamin C, which has the natural ability to diffuse melanin activity and shortens the length that sun spots remain on the skin. Fini recommends using a vitamin C serum along with your regular skin care regimen.
THE SURGEON: For sunspots, Karlinsky recommends chemical peels and laser treatments. At her practice, she offers both a Vi Peel and laser resurfacing. The peel improves the appearance of skin on the face and décolleté by reducing the signs of hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines and pore size. Laser resurfacing is used to improve cosmetic flaws such as wrinkles and acne scars, as well as aging and sun-damaged skin.
Be sure to see how our experts deal with and . And if you're considering plastic surgery, read our tips on the .
Bobby Wells (the makeup artist) is a Makeup Color Specialist for Koh Gen Do, based in New York City. He has won the “Best Makeup Artist” award in “Best of L.A. Magazine” in 2005, and his work has been featured on E! Entertainment’s makeover show "How Do I Look?"
Fini Leijssius (the esthetician) opened The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York. Leijssius has worked in the field for nearly 22 years and studied advanced esthetics in England, France, Germany and Italy. She is often invited to train internationally on her spa therapy techniques.
Victoria Karlinsky, M.D. (the cosmetic surgeon) is a nationally-recognized board certified surgeon specializing in aesthetic surgery in New York City. She has extensive experience working with all aspects of cosmetic surgery and treatments including post-bariatric/weight loss body sculpting, breast augmentation and reduction, non-surgical facial contouring treatments as well as additional invasive and non-invasive procedures.