In the never-ending battle to counteract aging and restore youth, women seek products that promise to prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, one of the surefire signs of aging skin. Often forgotten in the anti-aging regimen is the prevention of sun spots, the unwanted patches of dark-pigmentation caused exclusively by skin’s overexposure to the sun’s UV rays.
Zeefah Ali, leading esthetician at Trifecta MedSpa (multiple locations in New York), a holistic medical spa that provides state-of-the-art cosmetic treatments and technology, shares steps on how to prevent these unruly patches, in-house treatment options, and important steps for aftercare.
First Step: Prevention
- Limit Sun Exposure during Peak Hours: Avoid outdoor activities between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s UV rays are at their peak levels, and therefore hazardous to our skin.
- Protect Your Skin with Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen of at least SPF 30: Apply at the start of every day, rain or shine. Be cognizant that UV rays can penetrate skin through clouds and even windows, and skin should be protected accordingly. Select a sunscreen with antioxidants and vitamins for additional nourishment.
- Exfoliation: Exfoliating regularly will encourage cell turnover. Aim for at least 2-3 times per week.
- Sun Protective Clothing: Whether it be hats, sunglasses, gloves, pants or long-sleeves, clothing can provide an important barrier between UV rays and your skin.
In-Office Treatment Options
- IPL Photofacial ($300): This laser rejuvenation treatment, available at Trifecta Med Spa, successfully treats sun spots, hyperpigmentation and other textural irregularities. Skin will be left healthier, brighter and more vibrant. Recommended once a month.
- The Pristine DiamondTip Microdermabrasion ($150): This treatment removes the outer-most layer of the skin, leaving behind a fresher, smoother complexion. Through the use of a vacuum, blood circulation is stimulated, encouraging regeneration and collagen formation. Sun damaged skin is hydrated and smoothed. Recommended once a month.
- Environ TCA- Pamgel Peel (starting at $250 per treatment): A low concentration, low pH cool peeling system available in a special gel formula. A system whereby the healthy cells are unaffected and only the damaged cells are removed when peeling. Recommended for sun damage, fine lines and visible signs of aging.
Aftercare: Save clients a trip to the pharmacy by retailing effective at-home products like these below from Trifecta Med Spa.
- Hydroquinone: This take home product serves as a bleaching agent to lighten dark spots. Can be used daily. Prescription required.
- Environ C-boost: Bountiful in youthful skin, vitamin C levels naturally decline with age and through exposure to UV rays, amongst other factors. This powerful antioxidant protects against and repairs sun spots and other signs of damage. Include in your daily skincare regimen by looking for serums that include the ingredient.
- Retinol: A topical treatment that eliminates sun spots by stimulating cell turnover. Apply at night, beginning with a twice a week routine and working up to once nightly.
- Medical Grade Hyaluronic Acid / Aloe Moisturizing Cream – This prescription only moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid which holds more moisture than any other natural or synthetic skincare ingredient. One of the tell-tale signs of youthful skin is its moisture content. As people age (and suffer from the repercussions of sun damage) it is essential to replenish the skin’s moisture. In combination with aloe, which soothes sun damaged skin, the cream is a must have for anyone looking to reverse signs of aging.—Edward Fruitman, M.D.