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Skin discoloration can add years to your visage, even if you have smooth, lineless skin courtesy of at-home skincare and professional intervention such as BOTOX and fillers. With summer in full swing, extra sun exposure can make dark spots worse, despite your most diligent sun protection efforts.
If summer has you seeing spots in the form of freckles, lentigines, melasma or other dark patches, fret not because there are a variety of ways to brighten your overall complexion both at home and in the doctor’s office. Over-the-counter and non-prescription dark spot brighteners may include kojic acid, glycolic acid, retinol, licorice extract, vitamin C, arbutin, mulberry, soy and polyphenols.
Here are 5 top treatments to try.
Alastin Renewal Retinol
“Retinol helps brighten the skin by promoting collagen production as well as helping turn over the outer layer of skin, and also helps to prime the skin to absorb other pigment brightening agents,” says Dr. Janelle Vega of Mayoral Dermatology in Miami, Florida. Available in two concentrations, this potent serum delivers all the benefits of retinol—including improvement in dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture—in a non-irritating encapsulated formula that also provides extra hydration and antioxidant protection. “Alastin in particular has a very tolerable retinol formulation because it allows the release of the product deeper into the skin, which in turn reduces irritation to the outer layers,” Dr. Vega adds.
ZO Skin Health HydraFacial Brightalive Booster Serum
The HydraFacial is a go-to professional treatment for effectively exfoliating the skin and purifying pores without irritation—and now it can be enhanced with this brightening and glow-enhancing add-on. A key advantage of the HydraFacial is that the treatment infuses the skin with ingredients selected to meet the clients’ unique needs, and this targeted serum features peptides that help prevent the formation of unwanted pigment.
Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution
Fighting dark spots requires the proper products morning and night, but you can up your skin-brightening efforts with this sheet mask. Comprised of super-soft microfiber, this mask is infused with niacinamide, antioxidants and bisabolol that work together to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone and acne scars as it helps prevent new discoloration from forming.
Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C has been extensively studied—and proven to improve dark spots and uneven skin tone as well as visible signs of aging. This new gel-serum features a potent dose of the “sunshine vitamin” along with amino acids to brighten the skin while smoothing surface texture, fine lines and wrinkles. P.S. Use this serum along with the appropriate Alpha Beta Daily Peel for your skin type for maximum results.
Cutera PICO Genesis
Topical discoloration treatments take time to deliver results. If you don’t have the patience or you need visible results fast, laser treatments are the way to go. Cutera’s Enlighten laser combines three wavelengths of light and two pulse rates to break up stubborn pigment and improve skin tone in three treatments or less. According to dermatologist Jeremy B. Green of Skin Associates of South Florida, Coral Gables, FL, “The PICO Genesis laser procedure advances our options to efficiently treat common pigmentary concerns. In addition to skin tone improvements, it’s visibly clear that there is also something special happening to the overall skin quality – the skin looks brighter and more youthful even following one treatment.”