After a childhood spent in swimming pools and on the beach, I've accumulated an impressive collection of "angel kisses" on my cheeks and nose. Now in my mid-20s, those freckles have joined forces and transformed into brown "angel clumps."
Not as cute.
I also had some acne scars that would simply not go away.
You can imagine my intrigue at the claims of Clinique's new Even Better Skin Tone Corrector, which promised to "virtually undo the visible evidence of sun damage, dark patches, age spots, even acne scarring" after four to six weeks of twice-daily use.
The corrector came in a 1-ounce pump top container. I applied three squirts after washing my face and before applying a moisturizer with broad spectrum sun protection.
Both the Clinique Web site and Tampa dermatologist Dr. Susan Malane say sunscreen is a must when using an exfoliating product like Even Better.
"You're exposing new layers of skin," Malane said. "Those new skin cells are more susceptible to sun damage."
Within two weeks of use, my acne scars were noticeably faded. My skin was smoother to the touch. And this product knocked out any developing pimples faster than you could say, "Wow, I spent more money on a copay for prescribed acne medication."
After seven weeks, my angel clumps are still there, but are lighter than before. My acne scars are significantly faded, and I haven't had a bad zit in weeks.
Clinique claims my freckles won't come back as long as I continue to protect my skin from sun damage, which Malane said was a true claim.
"The most important thing for keeping the skin young and rejuvenated is sunscreen," she stressed.
Out of curiosity, I asked Malane what she would prescribe for someone with my skin complaints. She said a retinoid and a bleaching cream, which would set me back about $150 for a 3- to 6-month supply.
The prescription products would be stronger than Even Better, Malane said. (She was not impressed that the product's first listed ingredient was water.)
Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 435-7312.