Beauty Clinic: What can I do about sun spots?
Q. I'm 43 years old and have dark spots and patches on my face around my temples and jawline. I currently use an SPF30 day moisturiser and SPF30 foundation. I am looking for a product to minimise or prevent these dark spots, but I don't want to add another layer of cream to my face with a sunscreen. I have quite sensitive skin and can't spend a lot on one cream, but wondered if you have any recommendations or tips? A. I am afraid that existing pigmentation is difficult to remove although cosmetic scientists are working hard to find solutions. It is one of the big beauty woes of modern times, probably due to sunbathing unprotected over decades.
No guarantees but you could try two ranges that are available on www.victoriahealth.com.
• Yes to Grapefruit Even Skin Tone SPF15 Moisturiser, which also has a companion Dark Spot Correcting Serum. The key ingredient is grapefruit (!), which they claim will help reduce the appearance of dark spots in four weeks.
• Derma E Skin Lighten Natural Fade & Age Spot Cream. This all-natural blend of vitamins and herbs offers licorice, milk thistle, green tea, ginseng and other antioxidants. You apply it twice a day. The same brand offers Evenly Radiant Overnight Peel, with alpha-hydroxy (fruit) acids to ‘retexturise’ skin, and they claim, evening out pigmentation and fading age spots, as well as reducing the appearance of open pores.
Dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe of the Cranley Clinic, London, offers SuperLight Skin Tone Perfector Cream, which contains a dark spot and pigment fade complex with lightening extracts and vitamins aimed at reducing pigment production and reveal a more even, bright complexion.
However, it is vital to use effective sun protection to prevent the dark patches getting worse. The problem with SPF moisturisers and foundations is that they can't really give you all day protection unless you top up every couple of hours. Having said that if you are only going out and about in British sun, rather than sunbathing, they should probably give you enough protection.
Dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams, medical director of European Dermatology London (www.eudelo.com), recommends using an SPF50 product for daytime (not sunbathing) on the grounds that the higher factor will still give you some defense against UV rays as the day goes on. This summer Avon is launching Anew Clinical E-Defence, a super-high-tech, multi-shield lotion with an SPF50, but unfortunately it will not be on the shelves until August. Worth looking out for though.
And do wear a wide-brimmed, close-weave hat! A simple, physical barrier against UV damage that really works, especially in tandem with the measures above.
• Yes to Grapefruit Even Skin Tone SPF15 Moisturiser/£12.99 for 41 ml at www.victoriahealth.com - buy here
• Derma E Skin Lighten Natural Fade & Age Spot Cream/£23 for 57 g at www.victoriahealth.com - buy here