A major contributing factor to ageing is sunspots. They are the result of long-term exposure to skin damaging UV rays. And while they may never eventuate to anything other than a brown discolouration of what was once clear skin, it’s safe to assume that most of us find them unsightly, to say the least.
Luck is on our side though, given we reside in the 21st century. This means there are plenty of treatment options around today that can help to reverse the damage of hyper-pigmentation and smooth the appearance of the complexion.
The question is, “what is best for me?”
Well, that all comes down to budget and time, as treatments options range from at-home skin-care products, micro-peels and the more invasive laser IPL.
So to help you make a more educated decision on what solution you should opt for, we’ve broken the types of treatments down for you.
Home Skincare Products
If you’ve only started noticing the signs of hyper-pigmentation in the most commonly affected areas such as the face, décolletage and hands, these may be treatable with skincare products containing peptides that will help to reduce the appearance of discolouration. A serum that inhibits melanin production would be most beneficial, such as Indeed’s Pepta Bright, which contains seven peptides that target dull and dry skin and prevent the appearance of sunspots.
While at-home skincare products are the most affordable option, it’s important to note that if your sunspots have long been developing in masses, this might not be the answer. However, if it’s a dermatological treatment you require, it is still highly recommended to use a quality serum (alongside SPF50+) that will help prevent further damage while maintaining smooth, sunspot-free skin.
Chemical peeling can dramatically rejuvenate sun-damaged skin – that is to say, if it’s only your face that you’re concerned with. The procedure involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, which encourages regenerative changes to restore its tone and texture. Chemical peels range from superficial (which can be done at home) to medium or deep strength peels – the latter of which should be performed by a professional. For home peels, there is rarely any downtime, though post peel skincare is imperative to ensure hydration and protection from UV rays while the skin is at its most vulnerable.
Potent Retinol Vitamin A formulas are the gentlest way to achieve similar results to a chemical peel from home. The high potency of Vitamin A serums maximises absorption of anti-ageing actives and promotes the regeneration of new skin cells to reveal a youthful complexion.
Medium strength peels commonly contain trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which penetrates the deeper layers of the epidermis and can effectively enhance the vitality of visibly sun-damaged skin. With moderate downtime, medium strength peels should only be done up to four times per year and should be administered by a dermatologist. The cost for a medium strength peel can range anywhere between $150 – $300 per session.
To treat masses of sunspots, intense pulse light or photo rejuvenation treatment may be necessary. These laser treatments will help to achieve an even complexion and remove any superficial discolouration. Laser can also help with any skin redness and with no downtime; it has become a go-to treatment for those who experience freckles and/or uneven skin tone.
The process of IPL penetrates wavelengths of broad-spectrum light into the skin to stimulate cell regrowth. Often 1-3 treatments are required to achieve optimum results at 14-day intervals. Sun exposure should be avoided two weeks before and after treatment and broad-spectrum sun protection at all times is advised.
After each treatment, you may experience the sensation of light sunburn while the sunspots can initially appear darker before eventually flaking off.
IPL isn’t for the budget savvy, as each treatment can cost in excess of $200. Most places offer package prices, depending on how many treatments it is advised you will need.