How to Fade Dark Spots and Pigmentation Naturally
Do you have dark spots or pigment on your skin that you'd like to lighten up? You're not alone! Along with acne, fine lines, and wrinkles these dark spots (also known as hyperpigmentation or age spots) are one of the most common skincare frustrations out there.
Although they're not harmful, it can be defeating when dark spots appear and alter your appearance. Fortunately, there are home remedies and natural methods you can incorporate into your skincare routine to fade marks and help brighten and even out your skin tone. Keep reading to learn more!
Melanin and Your Skin
Melanin is a type of pigment that gives color to your skin, hair, and eyes. It's produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes. The more melanin your body produces, the darker your skin will be.
Melanin production is determined by your genetics, but it can also be affected by factors like sun exposure and aging. UV rays from the sun stimulate melanocytes to produce more melanin, which is why you may notice your skin getting darker after spending time outdoors.
Melanin provides some protection from the sun's harmful UV rays, but it's not a perfect defense, you still need sunscreen with a proper SPF. People with lighter skin are more likely to develop skin cancer because they have less melanin to absorb the UV radiation, but all skin tones should take precautions to protect their skin.
Dark spots and pigmentation are caused by an overproduction of melanin. This can be the result of sun exposure, aging, skin injuries, or inflammation. It can also be a side effect of some medications.
You should still see a dermatologist if you have any concerns or would simply like advice on how to improve the evenness of your complexion.
What Causes Dark Spots on Your Skin?
As you look to improve your skin long-term, it's crucial to know what causes discoloration and hyperpigmentation in the first place. There are a number of factors that can lead to dark spots on your skin. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Sun Exposure – Prolonged exposure can cause sun damage as well as cause your skin to produce more melanin, which leads to darker areas.
- Hormonal Changes – Many women experience an increase in skin pigmentation during pregnancy or menopause.
- Age – As you get older, your skin begins to produce less melanin and you may start to see age spots.
- Medications – Dark spots can be a side effect of certain medications, including birth control pills and acne medication.
- Skin Conditions – Dark spots can also be a sign of certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis.
- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – This is a type of hyperpigmentation that can be caused by skin injuries, such as acne scars, burns, or surgery.
You may be able to modify some lifestyle habits, like better sun protection or altering medications you're taking to reduce your risk of developing dark patches. But some of these factors, such as aging, are obviously out of your control. Still, there are various remedies that can help with hyperpigmentation.
Medical Treatment for Dark Spots
Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or a combination, dark spots can affect anyone. You may feel like you've tried everything to get rid of them, but they just keep coming back. You should be aware that there are a number of dermatologist-approved treatments that can help.
Medications and topical creams, such as retinol and lighteners, can help to fade dark spots and prevent new ones from forming. In addition, laser therapy, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels can help to treat dark spots.
However, these procedures should only be performed by a qualified dermatologist. In addition, you may prefer to first use some DIY home remedies that are natural and won’t cause unwanted side effects.
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Dark Spots
There are a number of natural methods you can use to fade dark spots and pigmentation. Here are some of the more effective ones:
- Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and can help lighten dark areas on your skin. Simply apply a little lemon juice to the affected area and let it dry.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is another natural bleaching agent that can help lighten dark spots. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, then apply to the area with a cotton ball. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer and can help soothe irritated skin. Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area 2-3 times a day.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a rich, natural moisturizer that can help fade dark spots. Apply coconut oil to the area twice a day.
- Turmeric – Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has natural skin-lightening properties. Apply a small amount of turmeric to the affected area and let it dry.
- Green Tea – Green tea is packed with antioxidants that can help lighten dark spots and improve skin complexion. Steep green tea for a few minutes, then let it cool. Apply to the affected area with a cotton ball.
- Lavender oil – According to Healthline, lavender oil can help even skin tone, lessen acne, and reduce wrinkles over time. Apply a few drops of lavender oil to the affected area and let it dry.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help fade dark spots and improve skin complexion. Take a vitamin C supplement or eat foods high in vitamin C to increase absorption.
- Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that can help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by dark spots. Tea tree may also help to prevent dark spots from forming by treating the bacteria that can cause them.
- Rosehip Oil – Rosehip oil is a natural moisturizer and skin-repair agent that can help fade dark spots. Apply rosehip oil to the affected area 2-3 times a day.
While these methods can help lighten dark areas on your skin, it's important to note that they won't work overnight. Be patient and consistent with the methods listed above, and you should start to see a difference in your skin tone over time.
Harsh Ingredients Can Irritate Skin and Cause Further Pigmentation
It's also important to be aware that some harsh ingredients can irritate skin and cause further pigmentation. If you have dark skin, be especially careful when choosing skincare products, as many ingredients can cause irritation.
Some of these common ingredients in many prescription and over-the-counter skincare products designed to lighten dark spots include hydroquinone, Azelaic acid, Glycolic acid, Kojic acid, and Retinoid (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene gel, or tazarotene). If you have sensitive skin, these ingredients may be irritating.
Be sure to read the labels of all skincare products before purchasing, and opt for products that are free of chemicals and sulfates. Look for natural ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and turmeric, which are gentle on the skin and will have multiple benefits for your skin.
Best Tips For Your Skincare Routine
A quality skincare routine is important at every age. Washing your face twice a day, exfoliating, using a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type, and drinking plenty of water are all fantastic.
But adding a product like UnaBiological Blemish Buster can help take your routine to the next level by fading dark spots and evening out skin tone. This organic formula combines calendula and lavender extract with anti-inflammatory oils like yarrow, tea tree, and lavender. As an added bonus, it will help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and minimize pimples. It's easy to use - just roll it on clean skin morning and night - and it's gentle enough for everyday use.When it comes to fading dark spots and pigmentation, patience is key. By using natural methods and gentle ingredients, you can lighten dark areas on your skin over time. Be consistent with the methods listed above, and you should start to see a difference in your skin tone.