Freckles are a badge of adolescent beauty.
But they never really disappear (and if they do, they generally come right back), because they’re exacerbated by the sun – and the sun is hard to hide from. Keeping your spots off and maintaining an all-over even skin tone is a challenge of Jenny Craig proportions and requires the kind of hard work and willpower only Kirstie Alley might truly understand. Must… avoid… sunlight. One little slip without SPF and freckles creep right back like unwanted pounds, no matter how hard you worked to get the result you wanted. Struggle City.
Freckles are a super-stubborn form of hyperpigmentation and, if you’re naturally bestowed with little brown sun-kisses, the reality is those cute little dots that made you look twelve in your 20s can backfire and make you look older once you hit 30, at which point they’re no longer referred to as freckles and instead become ‘sun damage’, ‘brown spots’ or ‘age spots’. These are just a few of the unsolicited beauty counter comments that can ruin your day while shopping for moisturizer at a department store. (We’ve learned the hard way most salespeople in faux lab coats are not to be trusted when it comes to deciphering a freckle from a mole or even a pore: leave the official diagnosis to the derms).
“Hyperpigmentation can make you look up to 10 years older,” says Zanoli Kozlowski, National Director of Education and Training at ZO Skin Health, Dr. Zein Obagi’s newest anti-aging skincare line.
“Targeting hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone will help create a flawless skin and younger-looking skin.”
After age 30, brown spots of any kind become the biggest indicator of your age before crow’s feet, sagging breasts and even gray hair. Conversely, the fastest way to make you look younger is to reduce your brown spots. And the faster the better, right?
Since melanin patterns in the skin are genetic, and freckles are caused by these patterns which are then brought out by the sun, freckle prevention has always been more effective than freckle removal (along with procedures like laser treatments, chemical peels and cryosurgery ), but there are some powerful, medical-strength products that aim to change all that.
The following are three of the best products to eradicate your sun spots, and all of them are medical grade, clinically proven to deliver results and straight from your doctor’s office.
Mixed with retinol, Lytera 2.0 promises significant results to both brighten dull skin and minimize the appearance of skin discolorations and dark spots. Noticable improvements can be seen as early as four weeks.
This Aggressive Anti-Aging Skincare Program delivers the highest concentrations of retinol, helping patients with significantly photo-damaged skin to radically reduce hyperpigmentation and brown patches, fine lines, rough texture, and sagging skin.
A potent daily solution to reduce stubborn discoloration and prevent its reoccurrence. Used twice daily, it helps exfoliate to immediately increase skin’s luminosity and improve the appearance of simple freckles, sunburn freckles and solar lentigines.
The best time to start your freckle treatment is in late October or closer to winter, since they’ll come back the minute you set foot in that dastardly sun. Of course you’ll also need a proper sunscreen to cap off any of these physician-strength products – and yes, that means all. Year. Round.
Written by: Stephanie Simons