A freckle…a spot…an age spot…hyperpigmentation...what is it anyway? Mostly likely it is the result sun damage (Although hormonal abnormalities or injury to the skin can also cause hyperpigmentation). After years of sun damage, the cells in the skin that are responsible for producing pigment can malfunction, creating a constant stream of pigment that leaks to the surface. Imagine the pigment like an oil spill originating from the ocean floor: eventually it makes its way up, spreading wider as it reaches the surface.
So you have a spot, now what? If you’re cool with it, then embrace it! Freckles are awesome! (I myself have tons of freckles). If you’re wanting to fade the freckles, then here are 3 tips to diminish the appearance of them:
1) SPF. Invest in an SPF 30 or higher, and use it every. single. day. Even when it’s dark and cloudy outside, and you feel like you never see daylight, still wear your sunscreen. Damaging rays still come through the clouds, causing spots to darken. No more sun exposure is allowed at all! Try Sheer Tint SPF 45 by PCA, which adds a touch of color and goes on smoothly under makeup.
2) Brightening Products. Invest in at-home treatments that are “brightening”. The word “brightening” basically means that specific ingredients prevent more pigment from being produced in the future. These types of ingredients include Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, Bearberry, Licorice, and Hydroquinone. Favorite Grove and Kane products include Luma Pro-C by Hydropeptide, Intensive Brightening Treatment 0.5% Pure Retinol Night, and C-Quench by PCA Skin.
3) Exfoliate! Now that you’re using a brightening treatment and an SPF every day, you now need to remove those already-pigmented cells! Think outside the scrub, which can be too harsh for most skin types. Use a gentle, daily treatment with lactic, kojic or azelaic acid, such as Pigment Bar by PCA, or Pre-Treatment Toner by Hydropeptide, to remove pigmented cells. For faster and more dramatic results, also invest in regular Chemical Peels with a trusted skincare professional! For more information on chemical peels, learn more here.