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Everyone seems to be posting selfies sans makeup these days—from your friends to Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé—on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The only thing holding you back? The signs of aging—fine lines, wrinkles and alas, those pesky dark spots. Holly Sherrard, Education Manager at Dermalogica, shares her anti aging secrets to eliminating dark spots for the perfect no-filter photo.
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Skin care tip #1: Try a high tech spa treatment
"Anyone seeking treatment for hyperpigmentation has a selection of services and products to choose from, including Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser treatment," says Sherrard. "The light from the laser works at different levels of the skin and is attracted to areas of contrast and pigmentation, effectively destroying any dark spots in an instant."
Skin care tip #2: Invest in a new dermatologist peel
Take advantage of the newest anti aging technologies to ensure your skin is fresh and glowing. Trust the science of professional chemical peels, designed to erase dark spots with immediate results. "An intense dermatologist peel will eliminate dark spots," Sherrard says. "These peels use dermatologist-tested acids like TCA to, for lack of a better word, melt off the surface skin cells through controlled damage, wiping out any pigmentation in their paths for glowing skin."
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Skin care tip #3: Use at-home exfoliation and vitamin C
While the spa and dermatologist are great places to begin removing dark spots, there are a few things you can do at home to fight aging. "If you are treating existing dark spots, exfoliation is the key to removing the surface pigment," says Sherrard. Try a face or body scrub to slough off dark spots and dry skin (which can ultimately lead to premature aging). "After exfoliation, it is important to use products containing vitamin C, lactic acid and peptides to treat the spots on multiple physiological levels to prevent future dark spots," Sherrard adds. Serums, moisturizers and oils high in vitamin C should be applied post-scrub to maintain clear skin.
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Your daily skin care routine may require a tune up if dark spots are becoming the norm in every selfie you take. "The number one way to prevent or minimize pigmentation on the skin is to wear SPF on a daily basis and stay out of the sun," asserts Sherrard. "After pigmentation has been treated with topical products, it is imperative that you reduce sun exposure. The cells which create melanin, the pigment in our skin, have memory so where pigmentation has existed, it can come back darker." Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses and limit time in the sun during peak periods to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays and stop dark spots before they start.
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Skin care tip #5: Make a few lifestyle adjustments
The health of your skin is directly related to the way you take care of your body. The foods you eat, activities you participate in (no more tanning!) and tension you place on your body can all produce dark spots on your skin. "Lessen time in the sun, exfoliate on a daily basis and decrease stress. Stress can be a trigger factor for pigmentation," says Sherrard. "Cortisol, the stress hormone, actually stimulates melanin, leading to the pigmentation and dark spots you see instead of clear, porcelain-like skin." Preserve youthful, glowing skin by filling up on leafy green vegetables and antioxidant rich fruit, avoiding an abundance of sun exposure and cutting back on the stress in your life through exercise and relaxation.
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