How to Improve Sun Damage; Dark Spots and Scaly Skin

The Ordinary

The science of skincare has gone well beyond wrinkles, and there is a skincare solution for every problem, including various forms of sun damage. The post How to Improve Sun Damage; Dark Spots and Scaly Skin highlights a few skincare ingredients that improve sun damage, lighten dark spots, and eliminate scaly skin!


Niacinamide is an excellent ingredient that has many benefits, including the following:

  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • It acts as an antioxidant
  • Reduces redness and blotchiness

Used in a consistent skincare routine, Niacinamide works to reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation. And Niacinamide is available as a serum or blended with other beneficial ingredients.

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How to Improve Sun Damage Dark Spots and Scaly Skin

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is considered a super ingredient and an antioxidant. Furthermore, Vitamin C has the power to repair existing sun damage as well as protect the skin from future damage. Blend a Vitamin C serum into your sunscreen for extra protection against the environment!


Arbutin is a natural derivative of Hydroquonine and comes from the Bearberry plant, which grows in numerous parts of the world. The Bearberry extract is used in skin-lightening treatments and may be used long-term to fight dark spots.

Skin Exfoliation

Using any of the above products will result in flakey and peeling skin. Therefore, it is essential to exfoliate the skin, thereby removing dead skin cells and creating a smooth surface for makeup application. For more information on exfoliating acids, read the post “Anti-Aging; 3 Products for Younger Looking Skin.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratoses are scaly patches of skin that may develop over time as the skin ages. These patches may also be discolored and have a scab-like texture. Removing actinic keratosis through a combination of a prescription retinoid and chemical exfoliation is possible. However, it is a longer and more painful process. There are several treatment options available for the removal of actinic keratosis, including:

  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Photodynamic therapy (light)
  • Laser therapy
  • Prescription Medication


Fluorouracil is a prescription-only treatment for actinic keratosis, which are pre-cancerous lesions that form over many years of sun exposure. The downside to Fluorouracil is the treatment time, which typically takes 2 – 4 weeks.


Tirbanibulin is relatively new and has been available as a prescription since 2021. This prescription shortens the treatment to 5 days; however, I cannot speak to its efficacy. Given the shortened treatment period, It is worth checking with your doctor on Tirbanibuln.

Keep It Real

What I mean by “keep it real” is topicals can only do so much. Therefore, set realistic expectations and maintain a consistent skincare routine. You need three solid months of product use to see a difference. The more you do for your skin when you are young, the better your skin will look when you are old! Don’t forget to put on sunscreen daily, even if it’s only to drive to and from work!

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Namaste, Beth

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