No matter how hard you try to protect your skin with SPFs and floppy hats, UV rays still manage to make their mark during the summer months.
The good news? Sun damage can be easily remedied—so easily, you can do it in your sleep. Plus, its best to repair damage at night rather than during the day because the most potent pigment- and wrinkle-fighting formulas rely on ingredients that make skin more vulnerable to sunlight. Just follow these simple steps before bed.
Cleanse and exfoliate A glycolic acid-based wash works to diminish spots and lines while you cleanse. Glycolic acid sloughs away dead skin cells gently, without upsetting sensitive skin. But it can react to UV rays, so its best to use it at night to prevent sunburns.
Fight wrinkles and dullness Exfoliating vitamin-A creams stimulate collagen production and speed cell turnover, making skin plumper and more radiant. Prescription retinoids—like Retin-A, Renova, and Differin—are better for long-term results, but they can be quite irritating to some, causing redness and flaking. If you have sensitive skin, try a less potent, over-the-counter retinol. A weekly at-home peel will also swiftly and safely sweep away dead cells, giving skin a glow and helping anti-aging ingredients penetrate better. Look for glycolic acid formulas that contain built-in soothers.
Target dark spots If your skin is only slightly mottled or simply too delicate for prescription potions, use an over-the-counter serum that contains Sepiwhite, a new amino acid shown to painlessly hamper the skins pigment-making process.
To deal with more serious spots or melasma—stubborn brown patches that are stirred up by hormones and sun exposure—ask your doctor about prescription-strength bleaching creams containing 4% hydroquinone and tretinoin, like Triluma; it works by shutting down pigment-producing enzymes.
Morning must-do The spots and fine lines that youve worked so hard to get rid of overnight will quickly reappear if you forgo SPF in the morning. Protect skin daily by applying a moisturizing sunscreen (SPF 30+) with antioxidants and mild brighteners, like soy, licorice, and niacinamide (vitamin B3).
And most importantly, don't forget to schedule your yearly screening to be sure that you're taking the best possible care of your skin and preventing future issues with Melanoma.