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What Causes Dark Spots and How To Get Rid of Them

Posted by Ellie Swain on Apr 10th 2021

What Causes Dark Spots and How To Get Rid of Them

Dark spots can develop on the face, chest, hands, or elsewhere on the body. They can be seriously annoying to deal with as they don’t usually fade on their own. For some dark spots, even our trusty concealer can’t do a good job of covering them up.

So, why do some of us get dark spots? And more importantly, how we get rid of them? We’re here to spill all.

What Causes Dark Spots?

For the most part, dark spots result from two causes: scarring and hyperpigmentation. And technically, scarring is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation develops due to the overproduction of melanin in the skin by melanocytes. Various things can trigger this additional melanin. For example, hormones – both estrogen and progesterone-can heighten the body's level of melanin.

The sun can also increase levels of melanin, which is why we might notice dark spots toward the tail-end of summer. So, while it may be tempting to lie out to sizzle and bake the sun for hours at a time, keep the possibility of developing dark spots in mind. Plus, remember that increased sun exposure often leads to premature ageing and the dreaded wrinkles.

Age can also increase the size of melanocytes, which explains why we often see dark age spots in older people. Other factors, such as skin irritation resulting from acne, waxing, and harsh facial scrubs, can also lead to dark spots.

How To Reduce the Appearance of Dark Spots

Now that we know what causes dark spots, it’s time to get to the juicy information on reducing the appearance of these unwanted markings.

Use Products Containing Vitamin C

It’s time to think beyond orange juice. You can also apply vitamin C to the skin, preventing free radicals from causing oxidative damage to the skin, which can, in turn, lead to a dull complexion and wrinkles. Topical vitamin C also stops enzymatic processes that create melanin in the skin, meaning it can help to reduce dark coloration of the skin.

Another great advantage is that vitamin C only zones in on problem pigmentation areas rather than your whole complexion.

There are many vitamin C products available, but one of our firm favorites is Tuel’s C Power Antioxidant Vitamin C Serum. The brightening formula not only improves the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone, but also helps to firm, plump, and radiate the complexion, making it a great all-rounder product.

Soothe Skin and Reduce Dark Spots with Almond Oil

Almond oil isn’t just used in the kitchen, and for a good reason. Sweet almond oil also works wonders applied to the skin, particularly for treating discolorations like brown spots.

However, be careful when doing your shopping. The almond oil commonly used for cooking isn’t the most suitable option for the skin. The best almond oil for the skin is packed with extra vitamins and minerals to help with hyperpigmentation and improve the skin tone.

As sweet almond oil is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores), you can easily incorporate it into your nightly routine. Use it as a makeup remover to cleanse your face, or you can apply it as a moisturizer to quench and protect the skin barrier.

Purchase a Dark Spot Protector

One of the most effective ways of reducing the appearance of brown spots is to invest in a product specially designed to combat unwanted markings.

We adore Bioelements’ LightPlex GigaWatt Dark Spot Corrector. The product pinpoints and targets stubborn, isolated age spots along with discoloration, UV damage, and any lingering signs of past acne. It seems that the product is pretty popular, too – a 100-woman consumer perception study revealed that a whopping 97% stated that the formula minimizes the intensity of dark spots after two weeks.

Exfoliate With Papaya

Papaya is a natural exfoliant, and it works well to brighten the overall tone of your skin. The fruit is crammed with acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids, renowned in the beauty world as an effective chemical exfoliant.

Specifically, papaya helps to brighten the skin and give it a plump, youthful radiance. To treat your dark spots with papaya, you can get back to basics and mash a ripe papaya in a bowl before applying it as a fresh, heavenly-smelling mask. Your skin will smell delicious afterward.

Alternatively, you can keep an eye out for beauty products containing papaya.

Do you want more skincare advice? Here are our secrets on how to eat your way to a glowing complexion.