By Jen Copfer, RN

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s a perfect time to start focusing on reversing the sun damage that was incurred during the summer season and/or the damage that has incurred cumulatively over the years.

The damage I’m talking about specifically is sun spots, also known as hyperpigmentation or solar lentignes. These flat brown spots develop most commonly on the face, neck, chest, arms, and the back of hands, and are caused by an over production of melanin (the cell responsible for pigment) due to UV radiation damage of sun exposure.

In terms of visible aging, sun is the #1 enemy of the skin and the #1 cause of premature aging such as wrinkles, skin texture, and sun spots/hyperpigmentation. The best way to prevent this damage is by habitual use of broad spectrum sunscreen, reapplied every 2 hours, and to avoid direct sun exposure. But for those of us who didn’t know any better and basked in the lovely sun rays for most our childhood, early adult and adult life, either unprotected or not protected enough, the damage has already incurred.

However, lucky for us, there are many different treatments and remedies available to treat and help diminish these age-defining dark spots and improve our complexion to bring it back to a more youthful flawless state.

In my professional experience, the best way to get rid of sun spots is first getting non-invasive treatments such as an IPL Laser, a PiQo4 Laser, a medical grade Cosmelan Peel or even Microneedling with PRP, which we all offer at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group, and then continue doing maintenance care at home with lightening creams and serums. The non-invasive treatments will give you a jump start to achieve faster flawless results. The IPL laser and the PiQo4 Laser are lasers that focus solely on the dark pigment in the skin, at deeper levels, to help lighten and diminish the spots. The Cosmelan Peel is one of the best peels on the market that targets hyperpigmentation, including hormone related melasma, and has ingredients in it that inhibit future melanin production. Microneedling with PRP has also been shown to help lighten dark spots by breaking up the pigmented skin and allowing new lighter collagen to form. Each individual would first need to be assessed so the proper treatment plan can be recommended in order to achieve the best results, depending on their skin tone and the amount of pigment they have.

For at home care, look for skin care products that have ingredients that are known as lightening agents such as: Vitamin C, Daisy Flower Extract, Kojic Acid, and Azelaic Acid.

Another at-home maintenance route which is highly effective would be prescription strength ingredients such as Hydroquinone (which is a bleaching cream), Retin-A/Tretinoin, and Tri-Luma (a combination of Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, and fluocinolone acetonide). You would need to get these products from a medical professional and they can recommend the right one for you after an assessment.

The earlier you start working on a regimen, the earlier you will see results. There is no better time than now to start a regimen to help you start getting the flawless skin and even skin tone that you desire. There is a treatment available for everyone depending on the frequency, desired downtime, how fast you want results, and type of treatment desired.

Jen Copfer is the Esthetician at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group. For more information visit