Question from the Netherlands regarding brown spots.

Hi Dr Irwin, I learn a lot from your blog and it gives me hope! Just wanted to share an observation on brown spots. I am 42, type 2 skin, dry but with monthly cyctic acne on jawline, and increasingly large lentigoes on cheeks/eye area. I tried Comet laser treatments (spots came back next summer), 4% hydroquinone (made the area redder not lighter) but whats surprizingly helped the last few months is using ROC vit A+C+E moisturizer. Why would this cream reduce the brown spots so drastically? It only seems to work on the lentigoes not red acne scars. I am resigned to them coming back this summer though, given i break out with most sunscreen including all the paula's choice ones :( And the ones you recommend are not avail. in the Netherlands. Any Euroepan suncreens you'd recommend? Thanks!

Thanks for sharing this.  I’m not too surprised though that the Roc Vit A,C,E product helped because the vitamins C & E are antioxidants and the Vitamin A (probably Retinol since it’s not prescription)  is well…….. a Vitamin A cousin.  Both antioxidants and retinoids are good at helping to resolve brown spots (hyperpigmentation).  Hydroquinones are irritating for many people.  You’re not alone on that one.  

I don’t know the European sunscreens as well.  I’ll be in France this spring so I try to find out more then.  Roc used to make a lighter sunscreen with Mexoryl, a good UVA blocker.  It might be worth looking at their sunscreens.  Remember they all block UVB.    Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!