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Dr. Lily's 6 Tips for Preventing Age Spots & Sun Damage

How to Prevent Sun Spots

Age spots, sun spots, freckles, sun damage. Call them whatever you'd like, but they're all caused by one thing: the sun.* These dark spots on the skin are a form of hyperpigmentation, and can darken over time, as your lifelong cumulative sun exposure increases (in other words, the older you get, the more sun your skin has been exposed to over your lifetime, which is why these brown spots often appear darker and more prominent with age, hence the name age spots).

Keep reading for Dr. Lily's tips on how to prevent dark spots from ever forming in the first place, and if you already have dark spots, don't panic! Check out our article on how to get rid of hyperpigmentation.

  1. Level Up Your SPF

Use the highest SPF you can (at least 30 SPF, but 50 SPF is always better).

Dr. Lily's Tip: Apply a full 1/2 tsp of sunscreen to face and neck daily in order to achieve the advertised SPF rating.

  1. Re-Apply SPF Every 2 Hours

Re-applying your SPF is essential, as sun damage will start to occur at the two hour mark! 

Dr. Lily's Tip: Use a powder sunscreen like Colorescience Brush On SPF over makeup

  1. Tinted Sunscreens are Best

Tinted sunscreens provide the best protection, as iron oxides (the tint) are the only way to prevent sun spots and melasma caused by blue light.

The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Skin with Sun Damage

The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Dry Skin

The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Kids

The Best Tinted Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Isdin Tinted Sunscreen

Elta MD UV Elements Tinted Sunscreen

Elta MD UV Pure Tinted Sunscreen

Alastin Silkshield Tinted Sunscreen

ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47

Alastin SilkSHIELD All-Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

What It Does: Protects the skin from UV radiation and pollution with transparent zinc oxide and vitamin C, while DNA repair enzymes reverse previous sun damage.

How to Use: Apply 2 layers of this product to ensure proper coverage, given its easy-to-blend fluid texture!

What It Does: Protects the skin from sun damage and dark spots with a tint.

How to Use: Apply a double coat under eyes to prevent under-eye wrinkles

What It Does: Protects skin from sunburn with the fewest simple ingredients possible.

How to Use: Can be applied wet or dry so kids' sensitive skin is protected instantly!

What It Does: The only sunscreen safe for using directly after a resurfacing procedure, this soothing, all-mineral sunscreen is safe for even the most compromised skin.

How to Use: Apply generously 15 minutes before sun exposure, alone or under makeup, as needed.

Shop Our Dermatologist-Approved Tinted Sunscreens

  1. Apply Antioxidants

Including extra antioxidants in your skincare routine can help reduce the DNA damage from sun exposure. 

Dr. Lily's Tip: Look for products with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, or Niacinamide.

Shop Our Dermatologist-Approved Antioxidant Skincare Products

  1. Cover Up!

It's best to stay out of the sun during peak hours (10am-4pm), but if you do go outside, make sure to cover up with a hat, visor, beach umbrella, etc.

  1. Use Retinol & Exfoliants with Caution

If you're going to be in the sun a lot (like a day at the beach, a tropical vacation, or even a camping trip, fair, or festival), remove Retinols and exfoliants from your routine, as these can increase your sensitivity to the sun.

* Many people also refer to dark spots on the skin as liver spots, but those are actually different. Stay tuned for an upcoming skin health article on that topic!

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