Hanging poolside with a margarita topped off with a giant slice of lime seems like a perfect day, but it turns out that lime could do some not-so-awesome things to your skin. It recently dawned on me to ask, "Can limes cause sunspots?" and I reached out to Lori Leib, Bodyography Creative Director, to get details. I won't be putting down my margarita anytime soon, but her advice is definitely something I'll keep in mind.
I first heard about "lime sunspots" in NY Daily News, when Scott Flugman in the Archives of Dermatology shared that squeezing lime over your cocktail and letting the juice dry on your skin in the sun could cause spots. He explained, "A substance in lime juice [called psoralen] ... makes the skin more sensitive to a wavelength of ultraviolet light [and] can cause the skin to become discolored, as if by poison ivy or a jellyfish sting." Even crazier, he added, "The marks can last for months."
Leib tells me the term among health professionals for this condition is "lime juice dermatitis," and the dark spots could be compared to regular sunspots. She acknowledges that the spots will fade naturally with time, but also shared a handful of tips for helping them, along with any sun spots you might have, fade faster.
1. Stop Damage With Sunscreen
Everyday Sunscreen, $19, Supergoop!
"Wear sunscreen to stop further damage," she says. "Anything over 30 is best."
2. Use An Enzyme Exfoliant
Blackberry Enzyme Exfoliant Mask, $36, Ola Enriksen
Keep skin renewing itself with an enzyme exfoliant. Leib shares, "I prefer cleansers with glycol acid for a really nice treatment, and they leave your skin looking and feeling great."
3. Reach For Retinol
Help Me Cream, $49, Philosophy
"Retinol-based products target hyper pigmentation and banish wrinkles," shares Leib. "Double duty!"
4. Add Vitamin C
Wild Rose Vitamin C Facial, $48, KORRES
"Add Vitamin C into your skin care routine to help banish dark spots and brighten your complexion," Leib recommends. Above is my favorite brightening facial mask with the vitamin.
5. And Vitamin A, Too!
Microdermabrasion Scrub, #6, Bodyography
Leib is a big fan of Bodyography's Microdermabrasion Scrub, which features skin-brightening Vitamin A to promote glowing skin and fade spots.
Images: Jack Taylor/Getty Images; Courtesy of Brands