Oh, that white-beared Father Time wields a big stick and a wicked stopwatch. But did you know that eighty percent of skin’s aged appearance is NOT caused by the passage of time…but rather by the sun? No safety from those UV rays on cloudy days either. What’s more, damage from the sun is cumulative, so if you venture outside daily, as most of us do (I mean, you can’t lock yourself in the garage), there’s gonna be that one day you see a little too many miles on your skin odometer. And that’s when you’ll want to reach for something that can help you pull a “Ferris Bueller” and reverse the mileage counter.
Sun-induced premature aging can cause brown spots on the surface of your skin, but also effects skin cells below the surface, making complexions appear dull and uneven.
I tend to get brown spots at the drop of a hat, which ironically, I should be wearing. A day out in the sun and I come home looking all splotchy like a Dalmatian. So when I saw that Rodan & Fields had a line called REVERSE that fades brown spots, I was in. The geat thing here is that this is a four product system to fade brown spots, brighten dull skin and reverse sun damage. I was ALL in.
Not only is this line made from world-renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, check out these dramatic results from an independent study of 49 women, ages 29-72.
• 98% had visible improvements in brightness
• 98% reported a smoother skin texture
• 90% saw visible reduction in brown spots and uneven skin tone
• 30% experienced a visible reduction in fine lines
Here’s a few before and after photos from the R&F website:
I started this line on August 11, 2001. I really wanted to stick with it cuz I wanted my brown spots to hit the high road.
The regimen entails 4 steps. Three of the steps — the exfoliator, toner and lightener — are recommended to use every other day for a week, then gradually work up to using 2x day at your own speed and tolerance. Here’s my full review:
STEP 1: REVERSE Deep Exfoliating Wash
There is no comparing this exfoliant to any of the brands at the local drug store. I loved the granular feel, but it wasn’t too scratchy or harsh. My skin seemed to like it too because once I started using it, it actually whispered to me, “hey let’s do that again.” This product has lactic acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid that loosens dead skin cells. It also has polyethylene beads to sweep them away. Skin feels polished and clean with no oily residue…not to name names but like the Garnier exfoliating wash, for example.
The smoothing results from this really kicked into high gear once I started using this product twice a day. Since I don’t have sensitive skin, I even used a moistened cotton ball to apply it….THAT, my friends gave some power exfoliation and erased ALL the lines once other products were applied. That’s powerful stuff.
This is a great exfoliator to try out on the back of your hands as well – leaves them with an immediate smoothness and more youthful look.
4.2 fl.oz/125 mL. Suggested retail price: $41
STEP 2: REVERSE Skin Lightening toner
The next product is the REVERSE Skin Lightening toner, with 2% hydroquinone, salicylic acid to promote cell turn over, vitamin C and bearberry extract. This is a clean, refreshing toner never stung on my skin and left a fresh feeling. It also lifts dirt away.
A note about hydroquinone: about 6 months ago, I was advising people to stay away from it, but now have to eat some crow. The studies I read about hydroquinone being harmful or linked to cancer involved rodents, but it was not used TOPICALLY in the rodent study, and its cancer-causing properties have yet to be proved in humans.
Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields consider hydroquinone “the gold standard”. Hydroquinone has been used by dermatologists for more than 40 years to lighten hyperpigmentation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created the skin bleaching OTC (Over-the-Counter) Monograph (ensuring regulatory standards for safety and effectiveness) in 1982 and currently allows over-the-counter sales of products with 1.5% to 2% hydroquinone.
Since its inception for use as a pharmaceutical treatment for excessive / irregular skin pigmentation, there has been an extremely low rate of reported side effects in the United States, but if you are preggers or nursing, it’s not recommended to use because there haven’t been sufficient studies.
4.2 fl.oz/125 mL. Suggested retail price: $41
STEP 3: REVERSE Lightening Treatment
This is more of a cream which will layer on another layer of 2% hydroquinone, retinol and Vitamin C. If you scrub too harshly with the exfoliant, and slater this on, you might get some mild stingies.
1.7 fl.oz/50 mL. Suggested retail price: $77
STEP 4: REVERSE Environmental Shield SPF 55
Here’s the final piece of the puzzle. If you skip THIS step, you just negated Steps 1-3 by going out into the sun with no protection.
I’ve studied up on sunscreens and most of them contain chemicals that are harmful to your cells. This sunscreen does not contain any of the bad ingredients found in most sunscreens and has aunique complex of stabilized avobenzone and anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory colorless carotenoids.
This step gives you prolonged broad spectrum protection and ensures that the entire full-face system has every opportunity to reverse the signs of past damage, while preventing new discolorations from forming. It also has Vitamin E and green tea fight free radicals and prevent future damage from occurring, while licorice extract and mulberry help to brighten dull skin.
It’s not too heavy and gives the skin a nice overall glow.
1.7 fl oz/50 mL: Suggested Retail Price: $41.00
Rodan + Fields REVERSE 4-product regimen: suggested retail price: $160
I’ve used this system for 90 days total – 12 weeks! I believe they sell this system as a 60 day supply, but it lasted for me, while following the directions of using a dime sized amount of each. Truth be told, there were some days I skipped an exfoliation, but never the other steps. Maybe I didn’t accelerate to once a day and then to twice a day fast enough to use up all the product in 60 days.
My brown spots have DEFINITELY faded, but haven’t disappeared completely like in some of the results photos.
I think this is a good reminder not only to change skin care habits, but sun care habits as well….using a sun hat is an awesome idea for that extra protection to prevent those bad boys from resurfacing.
Once I started to use the exfoliant twice a day, I REALLY noticed a smoother forehead….the lines were no longer visible.
Rodan & Fields products are available on their website: www.rodanandfields.com and from independent sales reps. The entire Rodan & Fields REVERSE 4-product regimen is $160.
It’s never too late to throw it in reverse. In fact, don’t wait for the brown spots to get out of control, because this product tackles damage beneath the surface of your skin too.
So, when Father Time comes knockin’ on your door and asks you to go for a joy ride in his classic convertible on a sunny day, you can still go for it — just protect yourself with a great sunscreen and a hat, and know you always have the option of reversing any sun damage that starts to creep up on you thanks to the Rodan & Fields REVERSE line.
“Ferris, you’re my hero,”
~The Anti-Aging Analyst