August 30 2014

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Talking Sunspots With Dr. Macrene Alexiades


This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail

Every time I go out in the sun, I get what I have dubbed a “solar mustache,” a constellation of brown spots right above my upper lip. Why is this happening and what can I do to avoid it?

“This is because perspiration accumulates on the upper lip, beneath the nose, and washes away the sunscreen there more quickly than on other parts of the face. You need to go with a heavy-duty sunscreen, like even an SPF 100, there and reapply frequently. Hats help but do not really adequately cover this area.

Once it happens, especially if it’s really dark, you need to move quickly. I recommend visiting your dermatologist for a laser zapping or chemical peel to get rid of the brown color first. Then, at home, you can try a topical product with a lightening agent like Tri-Luma, which is available by prescription. If you want to do something that is hydroquinone-free, Olay Pro-X Discoloration Fighting Concentrate with glucosamine is great, or there is also Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. A similar product from [my line] 37 Extreme Actives is coming out in a few months.”

Dr. Macrene Alexiades is a Harvard-educated dermatologist and scientist with a research center and private practice in New York that focuses on laser and aesthetic dermatology. She is the creator of the cult favorite antiaging skincare line 37 Extreme Actives, which will release a new product in September at Neiman Marcus.

The Doctor Is In