Healing Summer Skin

Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 10:08am

Dermatologists say repairing damage done by the sun doesn't have to be expensive.

The sun can do a number on your skin, but the products that can help repair your skin and make it look younger don't have to do a number on your wallet.

In addition to freckles and age spots, the sun also triggers malasma.

"Brown patches that occur on the forehead on the lips or on the cheek. You often see it on women after they have a baby, women undergoing hormonal changes, but men can have it too," explains dermatologist Dr. Eric Bernstein.

Dr. Bernstein says many inexpensive over-the-counter drug store products will clear it up.

Check the label for alpha hydroxy or retinol, a form of Vitamin A.

Hydroquinone is also effective, but some studies have linked high amounts to cancer in lab animals.

"There are other natural bleaching agents like licorice root, for example, that you can find in all sorts of products from Estee Lauder, to Clinique, to Le Mer," Dr. Bernstein says.

Another natural skin lightener is kojic acid, made from mushroom extract.

Dr. Bernstein says expect to see results from drug store brands in about three to four weeks.

For faster results, prescription medications like Retin-A and Tri Luma cream will force spots to fade.

The gold standard for freckles and sunspot removal is a laser, but lasers can cost $300 to $650 per treatment.

No matter what you do to fix your face, the doctor says spots will return if you don't use sunscreen.

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