Your handy guide to getting rid of dark spots

Have you ever woken up and noticed dark spots popping up on your face and across your body? There’s no need to fear — these dark spots aren’t a sign of anything nefarious, but rather the result of natural changes in your skin’s pigmentation. However, it can result in an uneven skin tone, so if you’re looking to get rid of them, you’re in the right place.

Let’s check out why we get those spots and how to make them disappear.

A variety of sun care products.
Madison Inouye/Pexels

What are they?

Dark spots are simply a sign that there’s been a change in the amount of melanin in your skin, the dark brown pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes.

Likely, dark spots are the result of excess sun exposure. When you sit in the sun, your body releases melanin to protect you from sun damage, leaving you with a tan. Naturally, it follows that if you’ve been out in the sun for too long you may notice some hyperpigmentation from this melanin production. Wearing sunscreen every time you’re exposed to UV rays can limit this overproduction and prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation from occurring.

These spots may also be the result of acne that’s still in the process of healing. Despite the common belief, these post-breakout spots aren’t actually scars. They’re just discoloration from the healing process that will fade on their own.

Over-the-counter remedies

Luckily, this discoloration can be managed at home with a few products you can find at just about any beauty store.

Any serum with hydroquinone is a great place to start. This skin-safe bleaching agent lightens dark spots on the skin, whether they’re in the form of freckles, melasma, sun spots, or acne scars. You likely won’t see results until after a month of use, so be patient and stick to your routine.

Vitamin C is a superstar for your health, working to develop muscle tissue, form collagen, strengthen the immune system, and so much more. It’s no surprise, then, that this vitamin also plays a role in preventing sun damage. Vitamin C, especially in conjunction with sunscreen, can protect your skin from UV damage.

Giving yourself a chemical peel might sound intimidating, but it’s just as easy as any other face mask. Be sure to do a small test patch first to ensure it doesn’t irritate your skin, then follow the directions on the package. Just like exfoliating, don’t use your chemical peel every day or it will eventually remove the healthy oils from your face, leaving you with raw, dry skin.

A woman putting on face cream.

Professional solutions

Dermatologists and aestheticians are trained in tackling every skin condition under the sun, and dark spots are no exception. If you’ve tried over-the-counter solutions to no avail, consider turning to a professional for help.

For a physical exfoliation, your aesthetician may recommend microdermabrasion. This process uses a small handheld device to remove the top layer of skin, exposing the newer, fresh skin cells underneath. When these cells are brought to the surface, your skin will appear more even and youthful.

Laser skin resurfacing, like microdermabrasion, gets rid of the top layer of skin. To achieve this, an aesthetician will use a strong pulse laser to precisely remove this top layer, without penetrating too deeply. The results are not immediate, however. Your skin will look red and blotchy for a few days before the inflammation from the procedure fades.

Last, medicated scar or dark spot cream is a gentler option, especially for those with sensitive skin. You won’t see results as quickly, but they are highly effective over time with regular use.

How to prevent spots from forming

Have you ever heard the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Well, it’s true. The best skincare is preventative, and there are a few tips and tricks to prevent dark spots and other skin conditions from arising in the first place.

Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine every single day you’re exposed to the sun. One of the best ways to ensure you’re protecting your skin is to invest in a moisturizer with sunscreen already in it.

Prevention is as simple as following a simple skincare routine every day. With a cleanser, toner, moisturizer with SPF, and periodic exfoliation, you ensure your skin stays clean and healthy. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it needs hydration, nutrients, and care just like any other major organ in your body. Give it little love and it will love you right back.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations