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Even if you've sworn off baking in the sun, everyday exposure to UV rays can cause dark spots, breakouts, and fine lines. Fortunately, these superficial problems can be corrected. "A consistent routine can reverse some post-summer issues," says Soren M. White, MD, dermatology advisor for skinmdny.com. Our damage-control plan will restore your complexion to its healthy, gorgeous, pre-sun state.Hydrate Dry Skin
Months of sun, heat, and chlorine can leave your skin dehydrated. "If you've been using an oil-free face lotion, switch to a cream and apply a moisturizing mask weekly," suggests Dawn Wetherbee, an aesthetician with the Spa at Equinox in New York City. Get your body in shape by buffing scaly areas with a gentle scrub, then spritz on an oil spray while your skin is damp. "Oil locks in moisture better than cream," explains Dr. White. Repair hands with a treatment that contains lactic acid to exfoliate and glycerin to hydrate.Even Out Tone
"After your summer glow fades, some areas continue to create pigment, causing dark patches," explains David Colbert, MD, founder of the NY Dermatology Group. Restore your complexion with an at-home peel that contains salicylic or glycolic acid. "Chemical exfoliators help disperse dark spots," says Dr. White. If that isn't enough, try a cream that contains 2 percent hydroquinone. "This lightening agent helps your skin stop producing color," says Dr. Colbert. Use a daily face cream with at least an SPF 15 to prevent future damage.Banish Breakouts
"Your skin's natural exfoliation process speeds up in the summer because skin is producing more oil, but slows down in the fall," says Dr. White. Sloughing off surface layers prevents blockages that cause blemishes. Use a face cleanser that contains 2 percent salicylic acid. "It goes deep into pores to dissolve dirt and bacteria," explains Dr. White.Erase Fine Lines
"UVA rays break down the fibers that keep skin firm," says Bruce Katz, MD, founder and medical director of the JUVA Skin & Laser Center in New York City. To promote collagen and elastin formation, apply a vitamin C antioxidant serum on clean skin, then follow with your face moisturizer. Repair crow's-feet with a daily antiaging eye cream that contains ingredients like minerals and seaweed.
In a rush? Try these 3 instant fixes!
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2006.