I always wanted a nice even brown tan and devoted a lot of energy to achieving that goal from my early teens until my late 30s. Unfortunately, my skin doesn’t tan very well.

By the time I was 40, I had lots of freckles and brown sun spots, lots of redness and a rough texture to my skin. If I tried using makeup to cover up the brown and red, the makeup took on the weird texture of my skin and looked terrible. And of course, without makeup, my damaged skin looked terrible.

Did you know that scientists did a study a few years ago where they digitally lifted the appearance of sun damage like mine and laid it over a young smooth face and had people estimate the age of the resulting face? The estimates averaged 7 years older than the actual age of the young smooth face.

That shows you how much brown and red discoloration of the skin ages our appearance.

And I felt old at that time. I felt like I had disappeared and no longer had any relevance to the world.

My very first treatment was a photofacial. Photofacial means the application of light, either as IPL (intense pulsed light) or laser to target the unwanted brown and red in the skin.

My first treatment occurred in November of 2006. All of my brown spots darkened after the treatment but after 2 weeks, I had a noticeable fading of the brown spots and a big reduction of the redness. The texture of my skin improved also.

Aged skin with a lot of redness and brown sun spots


After Photofacials showing bright radiant skin with much reduced redness and brown spots erased

After Photofacials

Sun damaged skin with brown spots


After photofacials, brown sun spots much reduced

After Photofacials

In the next 2 years, I had 5 more treatments, and also went on to treat other areas like my hands (major gardener here!) and my chest decollete area. My skin became even-toned and radiant, better than it had ever been in my adult life.

And I could tell when people started seeing me again. I was no longer invisible.

After that initial series, I rarely need to do another photofacial. I’m able to keep the brown and red at bay with skincare, especially good sunscreen. However I’m happy to know that if I start to see brown spots or redness, I can always do another photofacial to clear them.

Before and after photos of hand showing effects of laser treatment clearing brown sun spots

Before and after photos of chest decollete laser treatment showing clearing of brown sun spots