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Recover the beauty of your skin in 4 steps
Unfortunately, sun damage isn't only skin-deep. UV radiation alters the actual DNA of your skin cells, causing lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and even cancer. "There's a meter in your skin. Every minute you're out in the sun, your body registers it," says Evelyn Pereira from Avant-Garde Salon & Spa.
Step 1: Exfoliate the right way
You want to smooth your skin to create brightness and luster, and chemical exfoliation is the best way to do just that, Evelyn says. Chemical exfoliation dissolves dead skin cells instead of scrubbing them off (usually unevenly) the way buffers and granule cleansers do.
When choosing a chemical exfoliant, opt for a product with a 5 to 8 % concentration of glycolic acid. The active ingredient is vital in removing the extra layers of dead cells that are holding all of the brown pigment that has clumped and accumulated over the years. I recommend Basic Resurfacing Micro-peel Essence from CARITA Skin Care.
Step 2: Beat brown spots
The next step is to rid yourself of those brown splotches. While the product you need is commonly called "skin bleach," there's nothing bleachy about it. It will have the end effect of lightening the brown areas of your skin, but it will do so by stopping the skin's uneven production of melanin (brown pigment) that your skin churns out when it tries to fight UV radiation. Look for a bleach with a 2% concentration of hydroquinone (the active ingredient), and apply it two to three times a day on the darkened areas. Fundamental Clarity, Skin Light Dynamic Cream from CLARITA Skin Care.
If you followed step 1 before jumping to step 2 — exfoliation actually helps the hydroquinone work better by allowing it to better penetrate the skin.
After this step remember to apply a moisturizer, I personally recommend
Step 3: Burn no more
To maintain your improvement, use sunscreen every day to prevent additional damage. New FDA recommendations emphasize using sunscreen labeled as broad spectrum (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with SPF values of 15 or higher. To maximize the sunscreen's protection, apply it 30 minutes before exposure and reapply at least every two hours. Ideal Hydration, Progressive Sola Anti-aging after sunscreen from CARITA Skin Care
Step 4: Arm yourself with antioxidants
Pereira recommends nightly use of antioxidant-rich topical creams. Antioxidants help protect the skin's DNA to prevent cancer while also protecting the collagen and elastic tissue from free radicals that can cause wrinkles and sagging skin. Though eating antioxidant-rich foods is important, you should also apply creams and serums, with additional antioxidants that the skin can absorb directly. Vitamin C-based antioxidants are best for reducing uneven brown pigmentation, but you can't go wrong with any type of antioxidant, Pereira says.