Have you tried multiple skin care products to lighten your dark brown spots with no success?One of our readers asked recently how to remove or lighten their dark brown spots. During the summertime, often we see an increase or darkening of brown spots due to sun damage. There are a few tricks to help lighten your brown spots (not moles), as well as prevent them from forming! For this week's "Find it Again Friday" we will revisit Dr. Bailey's blog on How Do You Get Rid of Brown Spots on the Skin? But first, it is always essential to understand the causes of brown spots on your skin.
The Common Causes of Brown Spots
Solar Lentigos: liver spots or freckles that result from sun damage.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: marks or scars from skin injuries - pimples, bug bites, etc.
Melasma - aka "mask of pregnancy," but can occur when not pregnant.
Generally it is tough to correct acquired brown spots, which is why Dr. Bailey stresses prevention. Brown spots will only increase with age, which is why it is imperative to start preventing them now. Below are the best prevention methods to reduce the development of these pesky skin imperfections.
How to Prevent the Development of Brown SpotsSun exposure always darkens the pigmentation of your brown spots. As Dr. Bailey states:
This means that the most important step in preventing brown spots on your skin is using good sun protection every day, even for window sun.The best sun protection is broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Dr. Bailey prefers sunscreens with physical blockers, especially sunscreens with at least 5% zinc oxide.
Dr. Bailey's Favorite Sunscreens
- For everyday use on face, neck, and chest (one Dr. Bailey has used for years): Citrix Sunscreen
An affordable and water-resistant body sunscreen: Solbar Zinc Sunscreen
- Because these are Dr. Bailey's favorite sunscreens, she has put them together in her Sun Savvy Daily Wear Sun Protection Kit.
How to Lighten Your Brown Spots
In terms of treatment, lightening agents will help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Glycolic acid skin care products are the simplest method Dr. Bailey uses in her practice. Derived from fruits, glycolic acid functions best at 10% concentration or more (acid-free value). Glycolic acids can be used in variety of forms: washes, moisturizers, serums, etc. Over time, glycolic acid products will slowly lighten your dark brown spots and uneven complexion.
If you are looking for glycolic acid products for your face, click here to find glycolic acid products tailored to your skin type and other needs.
If you are looking for glycolic acid products for your body, check out Dr. Bailey's Anti-Aging Body Skin Care Kit that combines chemical (glycolic acid wash and moisturizer) with physical exfoliation (buffing cloth).
Hydroquinone Bleaching Products: In Dr. Bailey's experience, the 4% prescription works far better than the over-the-counter 2% version. She will also combine this with glycolic acid or/and tretinoin.
- Tretinoin (Prescription retinoid): Combine with hydroquinone to help the bleaching agents penetrate the skin deeper.