Well this is quite a meaty one really but both men and women suffer from age-spots as they age. These are characterised by random dark blotches and patches on the skin, generally on the face and hands, this does not include freckles. As well as lines and wrinkles, these age spots are very defining of someone’s age.

So firstly ‘age-spots’ is one of the names given to hyper-pigmentation, as well as sun-damage, liver spots and sun spots.

Hyper-pigmentaion is what happens when our skin is exposed to prolonged UV radiation (sun-light) for long periods of time. When we are in sunlight, the radiation actually damages our skin, slicing through our cells and DNA. When our skin becomes damaged, it needs to repair itself, therefore it sends colour to the surface to protect itself whilst it gets to work repairing the damage. When we go on holiday and ‘tan’, this is basically what’s happening, except its more even and makes us look supposedly youthful and healthy. This kind of damage is incredibly dangerous, if too many of our cells are ‘altered’ through damage, they can repair incorrectly, causing cancers among other things. Therefore, the use of Sun-beds is incredibly dangerous as this is a very concentrated form of UV radiation. Being brown is a sign of skin damage, not health, remember this: ‘Fake not Bake!’. Skin cancer is one of the highest growing types of cancer in the UK, and the rate of young suffers is increasing exponentially.

The older we get, the more uneven this colour production becomes, until it begins to form in blotches and marks. Even when the ‘tan’ fades, more often than not, these marks remain as it is pretty much permanent damage. Ever see those leathery old bags on holiday, wandering around with their necks hanging down by their ankles? Well, this is sun damage. 80% of our lifetime exposure is from ‘incidental’ sun exposure, so walking out and about, going to the shops etc. So it’s all very good wearing sun protection on holiday, but you really need to be wearing it every single day, and at least an SPF 30, either in your moisturiser, or a separate dedicated sun protector.

  • We know that you can be in the sun for around 15 minutes before the skin begins to become damaged. OK
  • Therefore, take the SPF number, for example, SPF25, and multiply that by the 15 minutes. =375minutes (around 6 and a half hours)
  • This means that you can be in the sun for around 6 and a half hours and still remain adequately protected (although in high sun, you should really not be in the long in one go)
  • After you’ve had that exposure time though, that’s it, get inside, as reapplication will do nothing, your skin has had it’s fill for the day and can take no more.

So now you know a little more about sun damage and what it actually is, but what can you do if you already have it?

Many products out there that claim to be skin whitening and brightening but in actual fact offer no hard evidence to back their claims up and often only give radiance to the skin through exfoliation and light reflection. Some products on the opposite end of the scale contain an ingredient called Hydroquinone (skin bleach), this is only available on prescription in the UK and is banned in many other countries as it has been linked as being a possible carcinogen (cancer causing). Hydroquinone, whilst being incredibly painful and causing appalling skin sensitivity, actually sets about breaking up dark marks and reducing how much of the colour (melanin) is produced in the skin, but is not recommended  unless absolutely necessary.

There are cosmetic products out there though that can offer you results, and one of the first ones on the market that offers clinically proven results was Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector by Clinique. This powerful serum offers 52% of the effects of using a hydroquinone (that would remove the mark virtually completely) in just 12 weeks, with a guaranteed 1-2 shade difference in 4 weeks (based on the Clinique shade chart). All this and without causing skin sensitivity; sounds great doesn’t it? Well from the results I’ve seen in my clients, it bloody is.

I’ve been using it on myself, not that I have dark marks, but I’m incredibly fair skinned and I like to keep it that way, I’ve found this serum really aids in brightening my skin and maintaing a glowing complexion when used as part of my 3-step system.

There are many other products emerging on the market, and as we know, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and they all seem to have something to say about how their product compares to Clinique’s, which makes me think they’re worried and very insecure. But with them aside, if you want to make a very big difference in your dark marks, then this is the way forward for you, especially as it’s oil-free and suitable for all skin types.

In order to boost this, make sure you’re using a good solid skincare regime, and also that this includes an SPF of at least 30, because if you don’t use sun protection, then what the hell’s the point?

The product is available from your nearest Clinique counter and comes in 2 sizes, 30ml – this lasts for one month, so you’d need 3, and a 50ml -lasting six weeks, so only needing two. The 30ml is £39.00 and the 50ml is £52.50, therefore the 50ml is better value for money.
Try it and if you do, let me know what you think, I love to hear what people think about some of my best loved products.

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