Dark spots are a tricky issue many of us have spent a lot of time and money trying to correct. Also known as sunspots, these uneven dark patches are a result of hyperpigmentation. A beautiful, more even skin tone is possible but the process of trial and error can quickly get expensive. Before you spend money trying yet another product, let’s take a look at what causes dark spots and some steps we can take to reduce and maybe even get rid of them for good.
Dark spots are frequently caused by sun damage but can also result from hormonal changes, and skin trauma, like severe acne or scarring. Overexposure to sunlight and harmful UV rays is definitely the most common cause and once the spots have developed, subsequent exposure can make them worse.
How to Deal
If sunscreen is not already a part of your daily skincare routine, it needs to be. Many daily moisturizers and even foundations have SPF in them, that’s because everyone knows the best way to keep your skin looking young and fresh, is to prevent sun damage. You may think you won’t be outside long or that it’s raining so you can skip it, but UV rays are always present and you need to get in the habit of protecting your skin. Blessed with naturally dark skin? You still need protection from UV rays and you can still experience hyperpigmentation as well.
Sunscreen is the bare minimum. You can also utilize hats, shades, lightweight layers, and even a snazzy parasol if you’re extra translucent, like me. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, that’s great, we do need the vitamin D. Do try to stay out of direct sunlight a couple of hours before and after noon, when the sunlight is the strongest.
There are tons of natural ingredients that can help even out your skin tone and even prevent further damage. Look for a few of the following all-natural, powerful ingredients in the next product you try.
• Vitamin C (reduces appearance)
• Turmeric (repairs and lightens)
• Vitamin A (lightens)
• Apple cider vinegar (smoothes)
• Aloe vera (soothes)
• Vitamin E (protects)
• Lemon juice (lightens)
Talk to a Pro
Even when we research and stick to natural ingredients, sometimes speaking to a professional becomes necessary. Seeing an esthetician or your dermatologist becomes especially important if you’re on certain kinds of medication that can make your skin even more susceptible to sun damage.
Dark spots are generally harmless and come in all shapes and sizes. However, if you notice a change in their appearance, such as spreading or becoming raised, you need to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist immediately.
Don’t Forget Your Mask
Another great way to prevent and remove dark spots is with a face mask. Be sure to look for one that includes the ingredients we talked about earlier. Clay masks with vitamin C and turmeric are a great place to start. These masks can help even out your skin tone and are a great way to show yourself some love and relax. All masks are different so remember to follow the instructions given on the product you choose and always do a spot test on your neck or forearm before applying it to your face.
It can be frustrating when you feel like you’ve tried everything. Remember, prevention is your best weapon against dark spots. Keep an eye on the ingredients in the products you choose and if you’re still having trouble, try talking to a professional. You got this.