New Think: At home: The search is on for a gentler, safer alternative to HQ. Botanicals such as mushroom extracts, kojic acid, mulberry root extract, and arbutin (found in cranberry leaf) are less effective than HQ, but they will lighten spots over time. Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Treatment Lotion (with mushroom extract), $30; Lumecin Overnight Brightening Gluco-Protein Treatment (with mulberry root extract), $45; and Euoko W-00 Active Starch White Masque (with arbutin), $70.
At the Doctor's Office: Lasers target the pigment within the spot, making it scab up and eventually disappear (scarring is uncommon).
Future Think: "My wish is that everyone would wear sunscreen religiously so they wouldn't get brown spots to begin with," says Bank. As for those existing spots: "I'm hoping for a laser that works instantaneously, so you won't have to go through any scabbing," he says.
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