I started off this summer with a little irresponsibility. I hit the pool with sunscreen – but definitely not enough and in such a short time, I had my dreaded sun spots and hyper-pigmentation on my forehead and cheeks. I vowed to fight back! I knew I couldn’t be too aggressive with treatments as some make you too sensitive to any sun exposure. But I did come up with a routine that has made some pretty darn wonderful strides against those dreaded dark spots.
First, I have been washing my face with my beloved Clarisonic. My cleanser of choice has been Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. My skin is gently primed and exfoliated for application of serums and treatments, but not irritated in the least.
Second up, I knew I wanted to work in a retinol, but also new my beloved Rx Retin-A would be too strong for my pool-heavy summer. So I turned to mybody. This line, now available online, has wooed me with gentle and effective products and the most fun packaging and names. A-TEAM provides 0.3% Retinol that you can use in the AM and PM safely. Also in the formula, mySBP 189, Actiwhite and Chromabright can help tighten and recondition skin. So, say goodbye to rough patches and redness.
Next up, one of my skin care staples, albeit a controversial one: Hydroquinone. Banned in certain types of the world, many find it to be unsafe. But I trust my doctors here that say it is really the only effective way to reverse sun damage. While there are versions of this skin lightener in the drugstores, they are usually at 2% or below. So turn to your doctor for a 4% version. I use ZO Skin Health MELAMIX from Gabriel Horn at Dr. Joey Manduano’s office here in Tulsa (Gabe truly is the Tulsa Skin Guru if you are local). I use this both morning and night. During the day, not only does it correct dark spots, but it also works to prevent formation of new ones.
Lastly, I am all about extreme sun protection. I used to dally around with a SPF 15 or 20, but for those blazing summer days, especially when you are outdoors, make sure to up the ante. Super Nourishing Cream SPF 50 from Zensation has been a summer favorite. On the richer side for my dry skin, it is perfect for those with aging skin or craving hydration. And I love the high sun protection. It is creamy, soft and absorbs well. It also works beautifully under makeup.
Another favorite is Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+. It is totally lightweight, non-irritating and even works as a wonderful primer.
So that is the story! If you are like me and paying for some summer sins, try these steps to get that skin looking more even.
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I’m curious about how you use your HQ 4%. I am on a similar regimen, and I’ve always wondered which should be applied first if you use both Retin-A and 4% HQ. My Retin-A is generic cream based, and my HQ is either a cream or lotion consistency. As I normally use HQ in the am I’m curious which antioxidants are compatible in your opinion, and in which order everything should be applied. I see my dermatologist for acne and resulting pigmentation, so I don’t get anti-aging/beauty advice from her at this time. Thanks for all the great blog posts. I restarted using Eucerin because of you and it really helped with dryness!
Sounds like you have a great routine! It doesn’t matter what order you apply – you can even mix them! If I’m getting irritated I also mix in a little cortisone cream which can help with dryness or flaking. Thanks for a great question!
Thank you so much! I recently heard aloe (I get the natural stuff with fewest additives) helps with retin-a. You’d have to look for the news/publication, but I recall it helps with both efficacy and irritation. Will try the cortisone before going up to a prescription steriod- totally forgot you can get a low concentration OTC! Retin-A + HQ are the best regimen for anti- aging, acne, pigmentation I have found!