SOLUTION: Intense Pulsed Light, Laser Treatments or Body Peels
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): The gold standard for eradicating sun damage is still intense pulsed light, LimeLight (when it targets both brown spots and red pigment) or photo facials. It’s affordable, effective and works for everybody. “I love it,” says Engelman. “If you go to a medi-spa, you won’t get the highest quality machine, so I always recommend seeing a dermatologist. That way you’re less likely to get burned.”
Face, neck, chest, arms — every body part is fair game. “Once, I gave someone a full-body IPL treatment,” says Erdmann, “and I can tell you that not a single area was spared.”
Body Peels: In-office full-body treatments with glycolic and salicylic acid and other skin-smoothing ingredients like vitamin C can also make a significant difference in skin texture and clarity.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Treatments typically last an hour, skin remains red and looks sunburned for a few hours, then the destroyed pigment cells emerge as small, peppery flakes on the skin, which fall off in a week to 10 days. On the body, it can take up to a month. Los Angeles dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer, uses a more powerful version called VLPL, which addresses vascular redness and pigmented lesions and has a similar recovery time.
Body Peels: “SkinMedica and PCA have beautiful peels for the body that help with hyperpigmentation, rough patches or even acne,” says Engelman. “I recommend a series of three. Each time the skin looks better.”
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Depending on the severity of the spots or sun damage and the size of the area that needs treating, several sessions (up to four, spaced three weeks apart) may be required. And don’t forget the SPF 50. New brown spots will surface without proper protection.
Body Peels: Engelman recommends a series of three peels, spaced two weeks apart, for best results. Factor at least two weeks to recover from the last peel before baring it all at the beach, since newly exposed skin is more sensitive to sun.
COST: $200 to 500 for IPL / $1,500 for VLPL / $150 to $250 for body peels.