Every now and then, I reach out to my readers and ask them about certain beauty blunders they suffer from, and the biggest question that I am asked- How can I get rid of the dark spots on my face?
These dark spots and discoloration of the skin is commonly known as hyperpigmentation. This is simply an overproduction of melanin, which is a substance in the body that is responsible for color pigment. There are many reasons for hyperpigmentation- pregnancy, certain health conditions such as Addison’s disease, the use of certain medications, and the most common reason- over exposure to the sun.
So, with the help of a few experts and representatives from some of my favorite brands, I will help you get rid of hyperpigmentation, help you cover it, and protect your skin from the sun, to prevent hyperpigmentation from returning.
Ok so three important words, say it after me- lighten, protect, and cover.
We wanna first discuss a few products that will help fade the dark scars and there are 4 ingredients you wanna look for in whatever product you choose- Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, and Hydroquinone.
Vitamin C- the natural and very efficient solution to evening out the skin, products that contain Vitamin C brighten the skin and eventually fade the dark marks. Vitamin C in my opinion is the slowest method and I suggest this for someone with a mild case of hyperpigmentation, or someone that is looking to brighten the skin. Makeup Artist and Licensed Esthetician Diana Solomon recommends Vitamin C peels as a safe alternative. She also suggests avoiding skin care products that contain perfumes, as that further darkens the skin. In addition, and a very interesting tip, “Always avoid drinks with limes in the sun, they can react on the skin causing hyperpigmentation.”
I suggest Dr. Murad’s Intensive C Radiance Peel $49.50- reduces hyperpigmentation and perfects skin
Hyaluronic Acid- I call this the miracle worker because it does so much for the skin. You naturally produce hyaluronic acid, but the older you get, your levels drop. Someone decided if they cant produce it naturally, we will just make some! And that’s exactly what happened. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture in the skin, making it youthful and plump. Debra Jaliman M.D, author of “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist” (you need this book btw) suggests Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair because it contains Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid. More about Retinol in a second.
Retinol- Retinol is the animal form of vitamin A, or synthetic. Retinol works to increase cell turnover by stimulating cell production underneath the skin. This process slows down with age, allowing layers of dead, thick, sun damaged skin cells to remain on the surface. As a result – skin looks dull and thick, pores look large and sun-related damage such as age spots and blotchiness appear. Products from brands like ROC and Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair contain Retinol A which makes the dark spots disappear.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair $20.99 each
Hydroquinone- One of my personal faves, and probably one of the cheaper options, hydroquinone is very effective against the war on hyperpigmentation, specifically melasma. Ambi is one product that I have recommended once before in an article. You can read more about that here.
Ambi Fade Cream, $4.86
Suncreen- ‘Black don’t crack’, it’s a term that you hear a lot and for the longest time, we African American women in particular thought that because we are so dark in skin tone, that we didn’t need protection from the sun. If you don’t want that black to crack, it’s time for some sun protection. And I have the perfect recommendation.
Extra Shade is a sunscreen specifically designed for people with darker skin (or as they call it, ‘rich complexions’), because when we are overexposed from the sun, we get the dark patches and uneven skin tone. Extra shade not only provides UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection, but it contains ingredients to moisturize, repair, and rejuvenate the skin.
I am not a fan of the initial smell when the product is applied, but I love it because it if efficient in protecting my skin, and my kids skin from sun damage. Most importantly, protecting my skin from cancer, but also preventing hyperpigmentation.
You still have to go out and about in the world, so what do you do to cover the skin until the storm is over and the scars have healed? Get a good concealer that’s what you do! Give the products from Make-up Designory (MUD) a shot. Conceal without ever having to reveal skin imperfections with MUDs Corrector. The ultimate cover-up for scars, blemishes, birthmarks or dark under-eye circles, this creamy, pigment rich corrector is designed to camouflage it all. Available in nine different shades, the correctors come in individual compacts and are named for what they do based on color theory. Choose Blue Corrector for vein and under-eye flaws, Red Corrector for acne and a revolutionary Deep Brown Corrector for unwanted deep pigments, which also doubles as a cream color for cheeks. $17.
Hopefully these tips and product recommendations help you out. Read this, go pick a few of these products, and come back and let me know what you think? Did I answer your questions?
And thanks to the experts that chimed in on this with me!