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How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots For Good

Sun spots, age spots, dark marks — hyperpigmentation from UV rays goes by many different names. No matter what you call it, the result is the same: brown spots and patches that gradually appear and grow darker as you get older. While you may be fastidious about your SPF now, all those years of sunscreen-free days in your youth will translate to brown spots later down the road. But, while dark spots may have crashed your party, you don’t need to let these discolored areas stay for drinks if you don’t want them there (which, by the way, is totally up to you!). If you so choose, here’s how to give unwanted pigmentation the heave-ho.

What causes them?

Well, the sun, duh. Specifically, UV light stimulates melanin production in the skin, which can give you a light coating of freckles or larger, more odious dark patches. The pigmentary changes induced by UV exposure go much deeper in the skin than the excess pigmentation produced by a breakout, which makes sun spots much more difficult to get rid of.

But is the sun really all bad?

Sun exposure also increases collagen breakdown, which exacerbates wrinkling, and ups your chances of developing skin cancer. Speaking of which, there were 4.7 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in 2017, and that number is expected to top 5 million when data for 2018 is released. So, yeah, it’s really all that bad.

Is the sun the only cause?

Heat is also a culprit here. “It’s part of infrared radiation and can inflame the pigment cells, exacerbating brown spots,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, NJ. It’s not just the warmth of the sun; it can be the heat from cooking over a hot stove or opening a hot car. (And it will have the same impact on post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)

Who gets them?

Dark spots aren’t just the province of fair-skinned Irish lasses. “All types of skin are susceptible,” says Dr. Downie. “Those with darker skin tones to begin with often end up with patches, rather than spots, however.” Age also plays a role. “Patients will come in and say, ‘When I was 18, I used to tan so beautifully, but now my skin just gets uneven and irregular,’” Dr. Downie says. “That’s because as you get older, the texture and tone of your skin change, and it gets even splotchier.” Smoker? We’ve got some bad news for you: “Smoking oxidizes your skin, which makes it even more spotty and blotchy,” she says.

What ingredients get rid of them?

As with acne scars, sun spots can be reduced with diligent, regular application of vitamin C. They work the same way on UV-induced pigmentation that they do on discoloration left behind after a breakout. Namely, by tamping down the tyrosinase enzyme, thus slowing the cellular chain reaction that leads tyrosine to become melanin. This results in a gradual reduction of excess pigmentation.

We went all in on the brightening power of vitamin C for Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum; it’s infused with not one, not two, but five forms of vitamin C (including an encapsulated version that offers max potency and delivery over time). We paired it with tranexamic acid, which slows melanin production and, in studies, appears to deliver similar brightening benefits to hydroquinone. This strategic formula targets pigmentation of all types to fade spots and even skin tone and texture.

Another great brightening vitamin is B3, more commonly known as niacinamide — and the hero of our Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. It’s an anti-inflammatory that helps your skin recover and repair itself after UV damage, as well as diminishing uneven skin tone and enlarged pores. It’s a versatile vitamin that is even more impressive due to its compatibility with other active ingredients like vitamin C and AHA — it’s non-sensitizing and won’t irritate most skin types, including sensitive skin.

However, all of the vitamin C and niacinamide in the world won’t do much if you’re not applying regular sun protection. As we’ve established, sun exposure plays a key role in the formation of dark spots, so minimizing it with daily sunscreen is key to both treating them and preventing new ones from forming down the road. So, we made one you’ll actually want to wear with our Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50, which contains both physical and chemical sunscreen actives for broad-spectrum protection with a lightweight, easy-to-blend texture. You’ll also find niacinamide in here, as well as hyaluronic acid to deliver hydration to skin. With regular (and proper application), sunscreen prevents new dark spots and patches from popping up while any existing ones fade — delivering bright, even-toned skin in the long run.

Keep reading about sun’s impact on skin:

Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50


Glow Recipe

Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops


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