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Sunspots: The Secret Ager You're Not Protecting Yourself From

  • Sunspots: The Secret Ager You're Not Protecting Yourself From
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    Know Your Enemy: How Did They Get There?

    Sunspots, age spots, dark spots – whatever you want to call these pesky patches of hyperpigmentation – they’re all collections of excess melanin caused by overexposure to UV rays. These spots generally develop as a result of years of sun exposure, but that doesn’t mean 20-somethings are immune. Those summers spent sun bathing add up quickly. Unfortunately so do the spots, which darken and multiply with time.

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    Know Your Options: How Do You Get Rid of Them?

    The obvious and most effective sunspot-fighter is prevention. (We won’t lecture you on the importance of practicing safe sun, but just know that avoiding the rays and diligently applying SPF pays off.) But once you have them, you can combat them with brightening serums. The most effective contain skin-lightening ingredients such as soy, niacinamide and vitamin C and melanin-inhibiting ingredients such as hydroquinone or licorice extract. And to supercharge your sunspot battle, add antioxidants and an exfoliating vitamin A derivative, like tretinoin or retinol, to your routine and see your spots disappear.

  • Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
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  • Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector
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  • Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
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  • Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial
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  • Mega-Bright
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    Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright ($50)

  • Camu Camu Power C x 30™ Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask
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  • Peony Spot-Correcting Brightening Essence
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Remember the cute little freckles that danced across your cheeks as a kid? Well, if you notice that those once-character-adding speckles have crossed over into sunspot territory, you’re not alone.

Here’s the good news: while the presence of sunspots suggests you’ve been spending a bit more time in the sun than your doctor would prefer, sunspots themselves are not dangerous. That, however, is the extent of the good news.

The not so good news is that skin specialists, backed by years of research, point to uneven skin tone as the number one indictor of age. We’ve been so busy warding off fine lines and wrinkles we’ve let the sneakiest foe invade our base camp. Now that the secret is out, it’s time to fight back.

Click through the slideshow above to school yourself on sunspots—and learn how to get rid of them!

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