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DARK SPOTS? How to Fade Them According to A Dermatologist

What Causes Dark Spots and What Can You Do?

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can appear on all skin types. Dark spots do occur more frequently on darker skin tones. Triggers can cause the skin to produce extra melanin, that gives skin its color. Those triggers can include sun exposure, medications, a breakout, irritation from skin-care products, hormones, and any injury to the skin.

The most common cause of hyperpigmentation is unprotected sun exposure, subsequent sun damage and photoaging of the skin. All skin types are vulnerable to UV rays.

Sun damage and UV exposure can darken pre-existing spots, which is even more incentive to be diligent with sunscreen use.

To keep your skin protected, look for a broad spectrum UVA/UVB physical or chemical sunscreen that you can wear every day. I like the Avène Mineral Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50+. I also recommend sun protection measures like protective clothing and avoiding peak sun hours 10-2pm.

How To Prevent Dark Spots?

Tip 1: Start Your Skincare Routine Early

Start a skin-care regimen designed for you. See a board-certified dermatologist (don’t waste your time and money on the latest trends in skincare). There are many great skin-brightening products, dark spot correctors, and preventative treatments that are best for your specific skin type. Remember, why you have the dark spot is important treatments are different dependent on the cause. You want to treat and protect.

Tip 2: Target Acne

If you have acne-prone skin, Step 1 is to get your acne under control. With each breakout you may be left with dark spots. That is not melasma, that is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you stop the acne breakout you can help prevent hyperpigmentation from forming. In addition to SPF, make sure you’re using gentle yet effective acne-fighting products in your routine when necessary. I like the Skinceuticals clay mask at least once a week, for a skin reset, its great for acne prone skin.

Tip 3 Wear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

This is the most important step for all skin types. Applying sunscreen is an absolute must across all skin tones and types. This is year round and even when indoors. There are many great options for sunscreens and formulations. I like to reapply during the day with a powder formulation.

The SPF in your makeup is not enough. When they’ve tested foundation with sunscreen, you would have to put between seven and ten times the amount of the foundation on your face to give you the SPF that’s on the bottle. While wearing a foundation with sunscreen in the formula is fine as an additional layer of sun protection, its not effective enough to protect your skin from sun damage and hyperpigmentation on its own.

TIP 4: Never Pick at Pimples

Because minor skin irritations caused by picking, popping or scratching at pimples can trigger excess melanin production, it’s important to avoid picking at breakouts and touching your face altogether. If you have a breakout, use a spot treatment.

TIP 5: Use a Dark Spot Correcting Serum

If you have dark spots and discoloration, you’ll want to invest in a dark spot correcting product, like an antioxidant-rich serum. My favorite is CE Ferrulic acid always pick a good quality Vitamin C these help to neutralize environmental aggressors and brighten the skin.

TIP 6: Retinoids

Retinoids and retinol are as powerful and potent as anti-aging ingredients. When used the right way and with your board-certified dermatologists plan for your skin they can reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin’s surface. Retinol can address a variety of skin issues acne, wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration as well as increase skin cell turnover and collagen production.


Dark spots are difficult to get rid of for good and even tough to cover up with makeup. But by using products formulated to help fade their appearance over time, and by following expert skin-care tips to help prevent more hyperpigmentation spots from appearing, a brighter, more even-looking complexion is possible.

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