Brown splotches are the result of years of unprotected exposure to UV rays. This can cause skin to pump out extra pigments.
To Achieve High Marks
To fade spots quickly (you should notice results in about four weeks), some dermatologists recommend applying prescription-strength hydroquinone (HQ) twice daily. Although it’s effective, the use of HQ is controversial (it’s banned for OTC purchasing in SA), and it can be too harsh for women with sensitive skin.
Gentler OTC alternative include vitamin C, soya, kojic acid and liquorice root extract. ‘Ingredients like these and the Daniella ensifolia plant – which forms part of Clinique’s patent-pending CL-302 botanical complex in Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector (R840) – work by breaking down clusters of melanin in cells and halting the production of even more colour,’ says Riëtte van Tonder, national training manager of Clinique. But what you gain in mildness you’ll lose in potency. You’ll wait eight to 12 weeks to see a visible change.
Lasers aren’t just for Star Wars fans – they’re an effective way to blast away existing blotches. Talk to your aesthetic physician or dermatologist to find out if you’re a good candidate for this in-office option. Then, thwart new spots by applying sunscreen diligently. Choose an SPF of at least 30 with UVA-blockers, such as avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Apply generously in the morning and again every two hours. We like Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF 45 (R455).