Clear, bright skin
Fade spots and discoloration— the top skin doctors reveal new treatments and at-home remedies that work magic.
These can appear as isolated marks—one or two marring the cheeks, forearms, or backs of hands—or as more of a mob, a diffuse mottling all over the face, neck, or chest. They result from years of sun exposure “causing genetic changes in the DNA of pigment-producing cells, which lead to increased melanin production,” says Estee Williams, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Turning up later in life than ordinary freckles, they tend to be darker and more irregular, with blurry edges. And unliketheir cute counterparts, sun-spots don’t fade that easily. If a freckle is roughly the size of a 20-sen coin or changing in any way, it should be examined by a derm (and possibly biopsied) to rule out skin cancer, Dr. Williams says.
PRO FIX: With sunspots, excess pigment pools in the skin’s top layer, so it’s usually easy to remove with lasers. Q-switched lasers (such as the ruby for lighter skin or the Nd:YAG for deeper tones) can knock out solitary spots in one to three rounds (RM1,000 per session at Rachel Chew Clinic). For widespread dappling, nonablative fractional lasers, like the Fraxel Restore Dual (RM3,300 per session at Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre), spare the skin’s surface while obliterating underlying pigment and can usually remove up to 90 percent of spots in one visit, Dr. Williams says. Expect about a week of ruddiness and peeling after the procedure. The Clear + Brilliant, a less intense fractional laser, leaves you pink for only a day but requires at least three sessions (RM1,200 per session at M.A.C. Clinic).
RADIANCE BOOSTED Mottled skin reflects light unevenly, making you look duller; lasers and peels can zap splotches and resurface skin to brighten all over.