Let’s be honest, we all want bright skin, but the regular occurrence of dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be annoying and can affect your self-esteem. Others may not even notice it, but when you see those spots staring back at you in the mirror, you just want to find a way to get rid of them.
You can always use a concealer to hide them, since most of them do not cause any health issues, but if you want to remove them, there are ways. Dark spots can be caused by scarring (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and hyperpigmentation due to sun damage. People with more pigment in their skin are more prone to hyperpigmentation, which is just the reality of life. Make sure NOT to use ingredients that are not safe to use during pregnancy and nursing if you are pregnant or nursing.
Here are the best ingredients to remove hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C serum is one of the most potent brightening products because it can fade pigmentation and make your skin smooth and clear, giving you a healthy glow. It also promotes collagen production, and it is safe for everyone to use it. One of my favorites is Supergoop Daily Dose Vitamin C +SPF 40 Sunscreen, a multitasking serum that brightens your skin, prevents dark spots, and protects you from the sun.
In addition to reducing dark spots, Azelaic Acid has anti-inflammatory benefits, so it can also help those dealing with active acne. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a perfect and affordable choice for those who want help with acne, dark spots, and overall skin texture issues.
Kojic Acid is a natural bleaching agent used to diminish age spots and works best if you got those spots due to acne. SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense is a mix of kojic acid and niacinamide that work together to reduce those stubborn spots. It is a bit pricey, but effective.
One of the most effective ingredients to reduce and lighten dark spots is hydroquinone because it also slows down the release of melanin that causes the spots. It is not suitable for those who have sensitive skin or are pregnant and nursing. I love Differin’s Dark Spot Correcting Serum with 2% hydroquinone because it helps lighten post-acne marks, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. You just must be consistent in using it to see the results.
Retinoids are a Vitamin A derivative proven to promote collagen, increase cell turnover, and lighten dark spots. They can make your skin drier and more sensitive to the sun, so it is vital to use sunscreen religiously when incorporating retinoids into your skincare routine. Also, dermatologists advise against pregnant and nursing women using retinol products due to potential congenital disabilities. The Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum combines three retinol technologies of a fast-acting retinoid, a time-released retinol and a retinol booster to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and boost radiance in two weeks by reducing dark spots significantly. For extra hydration for dry skin, it has hyaluronic acid.
If all else fails and you are open to more intense procedures, you can also try chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion to eliminate dark spots and hyperpigmentation. These in-office procedures remove the top layer of your skin where the spots are. After a few days of recovery, you will notice lightened spots and a more even skin tone. Make sure to wear sunscreen religiously after those procedures.
Keep in mind that it can take three months or longer to see results when using the products to remove dark spots and hyperpigmentation, so you need to be consistent and patient.