Of all the imperfections that make skin look less than youthful, dark splotches are the worst offenders. “Research shows that if your skin tone is uneven, people may perceive you to be at least 7 to 10 years older than you are,” says Debra Jaliman, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City.
- Splotches are typically caused by UV damage. To minimize them, apply an antioxidant serum containing vitamin C or E every morning, such as Aveda Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Serum ($53, aveda.com), and top it with a moisturizer of SPF 15 or higher.
- At night, smooth on a moisturizer that contains soy, an ingredient that helps fade excess pigment. For more pronounced spots, see a dermatologist for a prescription-strength hydroquinone cream.
Troubleshoot Fine Lines
Even with the countless wrinkle fighters available today, retinol is still considered the go-to ingredient. That’s because it has been proven to stimulate collagen and help smooth out skin’s texture.
- Apply a retinol cream, like L’Oréal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Night Creme ($20 at drugstores), before bed, since sunlight can render retinol ineffective. If your skin is ultra-sensitive, enlist peptides, another tried-and-true line minimizer, nightly. Consider Kinerase C8 Peptide Intensive Treatment ($70, amazon.com).
- And don’t forget to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. Retinol treatments can make skin especially vulnerable to UV damage.