Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Tips for Whitening the Face

Tips for Whitening the Face

Your face is often one of the most-exposed areas of your body. Here, you'll notice freckles, age spots, brown splotches and other discolorations that reduce the clarity and evenness of your skin tone. Restore your youthful complexion with several lifestyle and product use tips that can help you to effectively whiten your facial skin.

Smooth on a Skin Lightener

To lighten your skin, try a proven skin whitener chemical. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using creams made with hydroquinone--this ingredient stops your skin cells from producing pigment--or a kojic acid serum. Additionally, skincare expert Paula Begoun suggests using arbutin, which is a derivative of hydroquinone and works in a similar fashion; alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid, which help to stop pigment creation while exfoliating away darkened skin cells; or azelaic acid in a strength of 15 percent or higher.

Stay Out of the Sun

The sun's ultraviolet radiation stimulates pigment production and can quickly undo the effects of any skin whiteners that you're using. Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During these times, the Skin Cancer Foundation says, ultraviolet radiation is at its most intense.

Wear Sunscreen

Begoun writes that nothing can help to prevent or fade away skin discolorations on your face better than "diligent use" of a sunscreen. She advises everyone to wear a product with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher. For the most effective protection, she suggests looking for the following active ingredients on the sunscreen's label: zinc oxide, avobenzone, titanium dioxide or ecamsule. You can also shield your face with ultraviolet-blocking glasses and large, wide-brimmed hats, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Exfoliate Often

Exfoliating your face involves getting rid of the surface skin cells, which are the darkened and damaged cells. This exposes the newer, lighter cells that lie below the top layer. For exfoliating, Begoun suggests using a product containing alpha hydroxy acid at a strength of 8 percent, or beta hydroxy acid at a strength of 1 percent to 2 percent.

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