My question is for my 14 year old daughter. She is a very athletic girl that is out in the hot CA sun a lot due to field hockey and track. She has my husband’s (Vietnamese) tan complexion, but has much to her dislike recently started having some freckling (she inherited this from me). She is very good about using and reapplying sunscreen. She is hoping she can do something to get rid of her freckles and prevent more, but I fear she is too young to try any of those products especially as she will continue to be out in the sun and a lot of those products can cause photosensitivity. Can you recommend a skin care regimen for her? It is so hard as a parent trying to help a teen with this issue. There is so much information on the internet and a lot of it contradicts other information. The only info you can really find out there for teens is anti acne advice.
Currently, she uses a Cetaphil cleanser morning and night. In the morning she uses the Rodan and Fields chemical spf 50 and at night CeraVe night cream with niacinamide (is this safe for a teen to use? It is what I use and she just recently started using it). She has tried many different sunscreens. She likes the Elta MD 50 spf sport formula, and the Neutrogena spf 100. Do you have other recommendations? She tried ThinkSport 50 spf all zinc formula, but it felt so heavy on her and she felt like it made her sweat a lot. She recently was recommended the use of Tea Tree and Willow Astringent made by 100 Percent Pure (a store we really like) to use at night after cleansing and before moisturizer to prevent occasional breakouts. The store clerk said it doesn’t cause any photosensitivities. Is this ok and would it be ok to use with the CeraVe night moisturizer with niacinamide? Any help & suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Freckles are often mistaken for age spots, but in actuality, they’re quite different. When melanocytes (pigment-producing skin cells) overproduce melanin, freckles form. By contrast, when there is an accumulation of melanocytes in an area, that produces moles or sunspots.
Typically, what causes freckles is a mix of genetics and exposure to UVB light. They’re typically seen in those with lighter skin tones, who have less protective melanin (skin pigment). The melanocytes typically “overreact” to UVB light by producing too much melanin, and voila, freckles.
For your daughter specifically, I would say the skin care regimen she is using is fine, particularly for her age. I would, however, not recommend using the tea tree oil product, as tea tree oil can make the skin more photosensitive during the day (ARNaturals). I also hate to say it, but the quality of the source, and the concentration of tea tree oil in products varies greatly and its efficacy depends on high quality and high concentration. I am not familiar with the 100 Percent Pure brand.
For those in general who are looking to eliminate sunspots, I recommend a regimen with the following:
- Simple gentle, non-irritating cleanser. Look for ingredients like oatmeal, green tea, and glycerin.
- Toner and/or Day Serum with vitamins C, E, kojic acid, Haloxyl (a skin-lightening peptide), niacinamide, licorice, and other ingredients. If you are interested, our FutureDerm Specialist Customizable Toner ($59) and FutureDerm Specialist Customizable Day Serum ($89) can be created for you with most of these ingredients.
- UV protection — I recommend a sunscreen formulation with a five-star UVA rating and an SPF of at least 50. Also, make sure a hat with a high UPF rating is worn outside as much as possible.
- Night Serum/Moisturizer with retinoids or AHAs (to promote cellular turnover, which may help to fade freckles faster), niacinamide, kojic acid, azelaic acid, Haloxyl, Symwhite, and/or other brightening ingredients. I recommend our FutureDerm Specialist Customizable Night Serum/Moisturizer ($89 each) with these ingredients.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost option, it’s hard to find all of these ingredients together in the drugstore. I would recommend either one investment product — maybe a toner for $59 that would last a month. That said, you mentioned your daughter is 14, so I tried to include some lower-cost options above as well.
I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have further questions!
All the best,