WORDS | JENNAE PORTER, PA-C DERMATOLOGY PA
You spent countless hours at the beach or poolside this summer, and remembered to wear sunscreen most of the time, am I right? Now that school is back in session, and you’re spending less time outdoors soaking up the sun’s rays, you may notice your golden tan fading and being replaced by blotchy patches of hyperpigmentation. Walk into any dermatologist’s office in the Fall and you’ll see a common theme: “Help me get rid of this excess pigment!”
Aside from the dark spots that pimples can sometimes leave behind, two main types of hyperpigmentation afflict the face: melasma and freckles. Melasma is an overproduction of melanin—the primary pigment in our skin—particularly on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. If you’ve got broad patches of hyperpigmentation in these areas, you’ve got melasma. It’s an incredibly common condition, primarily affecting girls and women, so you’re not alone! Now don’t get me wrong- freckles are no flaw. But summer sun exposure can make freckles a little more pronounced than some would like.
Whatever form of hyperpigmentation you may be dealing with, check out one of these over-the-counter products that can have you sporting a more even, blended skin tone in no time:
MURAD RAPID AGE SPOT AND PIGMENT LIGHTENING SERUM $60:
Containing 2% hydroquinone, along with glycolic acid, this lightening serum is sure to fade excess pigment fast. Any product containing hydroquinone should be used for no more than 4-6 months at a time, and should always be paired with a mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Note: hydroquinone should only be used on light skin types.
MELADERM SKIN BRIGHTENING CREAM $50:
For darker skin complexions or for those that prefer a more natural, botanical-based product, this hydroquinone-free cream is the way to go. Meladerm can be used continuously, but should still be paired with an SPF 30+ mineral-based sunscreen.