How to Address Sun Spots on Your Chest
Feeling rays of the sun has been romanticized with quite a few poetic phrases (getting “kissed by the sun,” for one). And while sunlight is a divine thing getting too much love from the sun can cause harm to your skin. And we’re not just talking about sunburns or some skin cancers. There are certain skin concerns that can arise after too much sun exposure, one of which is sun spots. These spots on your skin resemble freckles, and are a result of unprotected exposure to UV rays. You can notice them anywhere on your skin, including your chest. Read on for tips on how to address sun spots on your chest!
WHAT ARE SUN SPOTS?
A sun spot (also known as “liver spots,” “age spots,” or “solar lentigo,”) is a brown, typically circular discoloration of the skin. You can tell when discoloration is a sun spot as opposed to a freckle by its flatness, and if it’s occurred in an area where you’ve had a lot of sun exposure previously. This can include your face, chest, hands, shoulders, and arms. While these spots are most common amongst adults over 50, they can appear at any point.
The good news is that sun spots are harmless, though for cosmetic reasons, some people may want to help reduce their appearance and hopefully avoid them altogether.
WHAT CAUSES SUN SPOTS ON CHEST?
When a UV ray hits your exposed chest, it may heighten the production rate of melanin, the dark brown pigments living inside your skin. These spots can appear even if you apply broad-spectrum sunscreen religiously because there’s no sunscreen on the market that can fully protect your skin. When we slather ourselves with sunscreen and lay down on a towel in the sun, that tan we get is the result of a bunch of activated melanin pigments. You could almost think of sun spots as a more concentrated, uneven tan.
Although “sun” may be in the name, sun spots can be caused by more than that big, centric star. The aging process is another reason why sun spots may begin to appear. As is normal with aging, bodily functions begin to slow down as time goes on. The same goes for the skin: as we age, our epidermis gets thinner, skin slacks, and it’s more susceptible to external factors. For these reasons this is why you may see sun spots appear in more mature folks, typically those over the age of 50.
HOW TO PREVENT SUN SPOTS ON CHEST
There are a lot of preventative measures you can take to fight off getting sun spots. One of our favorite skin care products—broad-spectrum sunscreen—is one such measure. Applying a broad-spectrum SPF can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays in addition to taking other protective measures. Covering up, avoid the sun during peak hours, and seeking shade whenever possible are also great ways to make sure your skin is protected. Remember, there is no such sunscreen that can fully protect your skin against the sun. If you know you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you cover up the highly-exposed areas of your body with the appropriate articles of clothing. Also, seek shade where possible and avoid peak sun hours when rays are strongest.
HOW TO REDUCE THE APPEARANCE OF SUN SPOTS ON CHEST
But what about those of us who already have sun spots? Well, the good thing about sun spots is that their appearance can be reduced. Here are a couple of ingredients to keep your eyes peeled for in products to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and sun spots on skin’s surface.
Ingredient #1: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant in every sense of the word. Antioxidants help to neutralize any sort of free radical or environmentally-induced damage (like sun damage) the skin has experienced. Applying a product formulated with Vitamin C to your skin, whether it be a serum or moisturizer, can help reduce the appearance of external damage your skin may have experienced. Need a product rec? We're huge fans of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic! When paired with sunscreen, products formulated with vitamin C and SPF are an anti-aging force to be reckoned with.
Ingredient #2: Alpha-Hydroxy Acid
Alpha-hydroxy acids can be found in over-the-counter skin care products. The compound has been known to aid in reducing the look of fine lines and—you guessed it—sun spots. But keep in mind, alpha-hydroxy acid can be super potent. To allow your skin to get used to the ingredient, only use it every other day until your skin’s resistance is built. If any sort of irritation forms and stays, consult your skin care professional. Remember that products with alpha-hydroxy acids can make skin more sensitive to light so it’s crucial to practice sun protection measures.
Ingredient #3: Beta-Hydroxy Acid
Creams and lotions formulated with beta-hydroxy acid (or salicylic acid, as some of its friends may call it) have a wide variety of skin care benefits, including reducing the appearance of acne and sloughing away dead skin cell buildup from skin’s surface. Products formulated wiht beta-hydroxy acid can improve the texture and color of sun-damaged skin with continued use over time.