We've all seen them at marathon starting lines: the grizzled runners whose dark tans and deep wrinkles speak to many hours running outdoors in the beautiful-but-damaging sunshine. From premature aging to melanoma, the risks of sun damage are well known, yet many athletes simply accept it as the price they pay to stay outdoors. Not so, says Dr. Gammelsaeter. "The number-one mistake I see women make with their skin is not wearing sunscreen." She advises daily application of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher everywhere the sun hits, not just your face, when playing or exercising outside.
What if you already have sun damage? All is not lost, Dr. Marrotta says. "The skin has a tremendous capacity to regenerate." Chemical exfoliation is the best way to remove extra layers of dead cells that are holding all of the brown pigment that has accumulated over the years. Look for a product with a five to eight percent concentration of glycolic acid (like BeautyRX Daily Exfoliating Therapy Serum), and follow the directions on the bottle. For lightening brown spots, look for a product with a two percent concentration of the active ingredient hydroquinone (like Murad Age Spot & Pigment Gel), and apply it two to three times a day, making sure to always wear SPF too!