Let’s be honest… sun damage is a stubborn bitch. The reality is that your damage has been under the surface, slowly working its way to the top layers of skin, for years. When you think about how long it’s taken to get there it’s a no-brainer you can’t get rid of it within a few months.

Plenty of products will lighten from the surface but what you really want is a formulation to get in deep and DESTROY that sucker. Time frames for a successful disappearance of pigment will vary, a good rule is 6 months to a year of diligent serum application. Another option is to wait until you have enough damage you deem unbearable and save for a laser treatment with quicker results.

Or do what I do… become a recluse and hide from the sun!

Only kinda joking.

My biggest tip: if sun damage is a concern, keep a staple serum in your routine to address it. I’ve been using brightening serums, pigmentation treatments, and vitamin C for 7 years now, all in an attempt to get ahead of what I know is underneath.

The method has worked! My face is nearly clear of freckles but my chest, shoulders, and arms? Plenty of freckles are beginning to show from years of sunbathing. I might have had a mini internal freak out over it.

Then I got my shit together and started treating forgotten body parts.

here we go, four serums to put those B’s in their place!

I tested each for 6 months or so, all on different areas of concern.

SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector & Phyto+

My preferred method is layering multiple treatments, attacking sun damage with multiple ingredients. I have one spot, in particular, that’s been around ages. It’s super dark, very stubborn and likely to take what seems like forever to go away.

Advanced Pigment Corrector works three different ways: 1) breaks up discoloration, 2) fades dark spots with an ingredient similar to hydroquinone without the concern of bounce back pigment, and 3) helps your skin resist new pigment. Phyto+ mostly kojic acid with a few other ingredients to inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme in our skin that creates hyperpigmentation.

After using both nightly, my spot started to break up and fade after 6 months. Had I kept it up I likely would see it completely disappear. While this wasn’t my favorite product to use, Skinceuticals delivers results.

APC ($90) Dermstore, SkincareRX, Skinstore      Phyto+ ($86) Dermstore, SkincareRX, Skinstore

Deciem WhiteRX Activated Serum

**I no longer support the brand as of February 2018.

Hydropeptide LumaPro-C

So, let me share a love story with you. Hydropeptide previously had Even Out, a brightening serum that brought pigment to the surface before banishing it for good. Sometime last year it was reformulated, birthing LumaPro-C. Basically the old formula times 10. I was already a fan but Y’ALLugh my love for this serum. Looking for a brightening serum to splurge on? THIS is it.

LumaPro-C combines 8 brighteners including peptides, vitamin C, and brightening ingredients I’ve never even heard of before (DermalRX SRC, Algaktiv LightSKN anyone?) to give the most beautiful, luminous glow. Future pigmentation is blocked from forming, spots fade, magic happens.

I personally didn’t test this as long since I use it in the treatment room and clients have seen results. Lovely, lovely treatment serum.

LumaPro-C ($148) SkincareRX, Skinstore

*Skinceuticals and Deciem products provided as PR samples.