John Hamm and many other celebrities have skin conditions. It’s natural to have an uneven skin tone – especially as a result of summer sun. When you spend time in direct sunlight, hyperpigmentation (dark spots) can become much more apparent. Most of this is due to the UV index being higher in summer months, but that doesn’t mean that summer is the only time hyperpigmentation can (or will) occur – it’s just the most common time. If you’re interested in a more even skin tone, read on to find out what you need to do.
Always Use Sunscreen
(specifically non-nano physical sunscreens like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide), skin safe Free Radical Scavengers (anti-oxidants fall into this category), or other ingredients (example: peptides) specifically designed to protect your skin during sun exposure
Remember that Baz Lurhman Song ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen? We know (and agree with) the bad press that chemical sunscreens, have received lately, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
Of course, shade is the best answer, but we’re human too, so we get it, sometimes NOTHING feels better than sunlight on your face, and after a long winter (or May gray, June gloom here in SoCal), we ALL need to bask in some sunlight (not to mention, it’s still the best way to get Vitamin D… we didn’t verify that with a literature search, but come on, 15 minutes of sunshine vs. a pill, give me the sun any day 😊).
Sun protection isn’t just a summer thing. The sun is always there even if it’s behind a cloud layer, and the damage it can do to our skin happens throughout the year. If you’re going to be outside for any length of time, make sure to use sunscreen and/or a product containing a free radical scavenger (such as Vitamin C, polyphenols like Resveratrol or other polyphenol rich ingredients like Green Tea Extract and Olive Oil, or peptides specifically designed to counter radical oxygen or carbonyl species).
When should you use these products? Year round, of course whether you’re spending the day beach side or at work. And, of course, we've got you covered whether you're looking for:
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and other detritus from the surface of your skin. When it isn’t removed, it can give your skin a dull, ashy color and the dead skin cells can clog your pores. While you don’t need to exfoliate every day, you should make sure to use a product with an exfoliator at least 2 to 3 times a week.
For exfoliators, chemical (instead of physical) exfoliators are usually the best choice because they don’t damage the skin.
You’ve seen these chemical exfoliators as alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Alpha hydroxy acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid) are water soluble whereas beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid, L-carnitine) are oil soluble. We are HUGE fans of L-carnitine because it has SO many skin benefits (in addition to exfoliation), so we use it in ALL of our products intended for night time use.
For acne prone individuals, we recommend GENTLE exfoliation on acne prone areas (i.e. NOT a separate exfoliation step, but instead use a moisturizer containing an exfoliator).
And, remember to protect your skin from the sun while using an exfoliator (we recommend night time application and of course ALWAYS use sunscreen or anti-oxidant rich skincare products to protect your skin on days following exfoliation).
Lastly, remember your body needs exfoliating also, which is why we’re launching Meadowfoam + Argan Hand and Body Lotion with L-Carnitine.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
If you want to even out your complexion, moisturization is crucial to your ability to do so. Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, make sure that the moisturizer you’re using is formulated to meet your specific needs.
Otherwise, it isn’t going to work as well as you’d like for it to (think wrong pH, too much oil, not enough oil, sebum regulating ingredients, etc.).
What is a moisturizer? It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like – it’s an ingredient that does one of two things:
- Draws water to the skin from the environment.
- Prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) - basically, keeps water inside your body.
Did you notice what those two things have in common? WATER!!!!! Moisturizers are ALL ABOUT WATER, NOT oil! That said, ANY product containing water (for example, a lotion, cream, or oil free serum) is a moisturizer. Why? Because lotions and creams typically contain oils and oil soluble ingredients IN ADDITION TO water and water soluble ingredients. The important thing to remember here is lotions, creams, and oil free serums are water based.
Don’t Forget About Nighttime
Your skin repairs and rejuvenates itself overnight, making the evening a great time to apply REM Time Night Lotion by Return to Eden Cosmetics.Our night lotion is designed to even out your skin tone, reduce redness and acne, and also hydrate the skin. Choose between two different formulations: oily and dry/combination/mature according based on which fits your skin's needs the best.
REM Time Night Lotion contains niacinamide – an ingredient that’s been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation as well as stimulating collagen and ceramide synthesis. Additionally, niacinamide helps regulate sebum production, meaning it can help reduce acne breakouts.
The ingredients niacinamide and vitamin C don’t play well together in sunlight, so make sure to only use Return to Eden Cosmetics’ REM Time Night Lotion at night to reap the full benefits.
About the Author
Brandy Searcy is a pharmaceutical formulation development scientist with over a decade experience in skincare product development. With a B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech, she has a strong interest in skin anatomy and physiology, and immune modulation.
When she's not at her day job formulating pharmaceuticals, she's researching immunology to learn more about her own diagnosis with Hashimoto's, developing new skincare formulations, or spending time with her husband and two rescues in Southern California.
Figuring out day by day how to leave no trace on the environment while doing everything she can to make the world better for those she crosses paths with, whether that's humans or other animals. The products offered on this site are creations of her own hands, with years of experience and a passion for safe & effective skincare formulations poured into each product.
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