As we inch closer to the glory days of summer, we also inch closer to sun damage. And when we think of sun damage, perhaps our first thoughts go to sunburn, with its signature tight, itchy, painful residual effects. But there are so many other types of damage that come about from unprotected and prolonged exposure: premature aging, dryness, and discoloration. The last of which comes in several forms. Sun-induced hyperpigmentation can come in the form of melasma, dark spots (also called age or sun spots), and an increase in freckles. And each is just so slightly different.
Before we begin: The best thing you can do to avoid sun damage is to be proactive with sun care. This means applying an adequate amount of SPF daily, choosing a UVA and UVB protection formula (like those with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), reapplying as needed, and making sure you don’t skip any section, from your scalp to your toes.
Now that SPF is out of the way—just kidding! we talk about it again several times later—let’s dive into these forms of hyperpigmentation.