Exact Anti-Aging Products that Helped Heal Years of Sun Damage on This Woman's Face

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

If you've ever sat out in the sun for a little too long and didn't reapply sunscreen, you may have developed sun damage, which can show up in the form of uneven pigmentation, dark freckles, and melasma. And, as you know, sun damage is super hard to get rid of.

Reddit user NeverMeant125 is breaking the Internet with a before-and-after photo of her sun damage treatment, and it's easy to see why: We all want to know how she's doing the impossible. Luckily, she shares the exact routine that totally transformed her damaged skin, giving her a drastically brighter, smoother complexion.

In high school and college, NeverMeant125 says, she tanned regularly and never wore sunscreen or moisturizer. As a result, she developed sun damage. "The texture of my skin was awful because it was so dry," she shares.

Her morning routine consists of washing her face with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($15; dermstore.com), followed by silknaturals.com/store/index.php/facelift-vitamin-c-dmae-peptide-serum-619.html' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' >Silk Naturals Facelift Vitamin C, DMAE & Peptide serum ($18; silknaturals.com).Afterward, she applies First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream with SPF 30 ($40; sephora.com), which contains zinc oxide to protect from UV rays.

At night, she cleanses again with CeraVe, then alternates between smoothing silknaturals.com/store/index.php/8-aha-toner.html' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' >Silk Naturals AHA Toner ($9; silknaturals.com) and MUAC Retinol ($15; makeupartistschoice.com) over her face. Unlike many retinols, she likes this one because it's not over-drying, and she's careful to only use it every other evening. As a final step, she moisturizers with Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($49; sephora.com), which ensures she wakes up with moisturized, glowy skin.

On a budget? She also shared an affordable dupe she loves in place of the Kiehl's product: Argan oil. Our pick: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil ($7; sephora.com), a lightweight skin and hair oil with a cult following on Sephora.

New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, approves of this skincare routine, deeming it "a very good one." She tells us that the CeraVe facial cleanser has ceramides, which help protect skin's barrier and lock in moisture. Vitamin C serum is loaded with beneficial ingredients to reduce signs of aging and improve skin's texture. Sunscreen delivers essential sun protection, and, as an added bonus, the glycerin in the cream locks in hydration. "Glycerin is a humectant and it works to moisturize the skin by drawing water from the air into the skin's outer layer," Dr. Jaliman explains.

As for her evening routine, Dr. Jaliman likes her retinol choice. "It has soybean oil, which is nourishing and moisturizing," she says. The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate she uses as her last step has lavender oil, which is ideal for those with sensitive skin or redness due to rosacea, says Dr. Jaliman. Even better? The oil also contains squalane, an ingredient that absorbs quickly and is extremely moisturizing.

Looking for other ways to heal sun damage? Dr. Jaliman recommends adding an antioxidant serum to your routine, such as one that contains ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and vitamins A and E to protect skin from free radicals and help slow down the aging process. We like Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil ($72; sephora.com).

Read more on: skin, beauty, aging

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