It can take decades of spotty sunscreen use before brown spots start to appear. Fortunately, making them vanish takes a whole lot less time. Here’s what experts say you can realistically accomplish in one day, one week, and one month. Find the timeline that works for you and follow the recommended anti-aging skin care routine for skin that’s bright, glowing, and, most importantly, spotless.
Your One-Day Plan:
If a big event is imminent and you’d rather your brown spots not make an appearance, use an at-home microdermabrasion kit, like Neutrogena’s Microdermabrasion System ($20, neutrogena.com), the night before to whisk away the top layer of dead cells and instantly make skin look healthier and brown spots less noticeable, says Elizabeth Briden, MD, adjunct associate professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Bonus: your makeup will glide on smoother and more evenly after this intense exfoliation, further camouflaging the spots.
Your One-Week Plan:
At the start of the week, try a single in-office session with a Q-Switched Laser, which zaps away spots by breaking up the cluster of pigment into such small pieces that your body’s immune system reabsorbs and disposes of them, says Jody Levine, a New York City-based dermatologist and national medical director of AOB Med Spa. The procedure costs between $350 and $800 depending on the size of the area treated (yes, it’s pricey, but it’s also highly effective), and brown spots should diminish within a few days post-procedure, though you may need one or two more treatments to completely remove a spot. Give your skin a few days to recover from the laser’s high temperatures, which can leave skin a little sensitive, then use a gentle chemical exfoliator, like Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive ($40, juicebeauty.com), on any remaining spots.