Too much sun exposure? Dark spot. Picked one too many pimples? Dark spot. Aged one more day? Dark spot.
To many of us, it seems that dark spots are inevitable, no matter what we do to try and prevent them. But why? What is the primary cause behind these dark spots we all love to hate? Unfortunately, there is not one specific reason, but rather many reasons behind these pesky little marks.
First, let's define what dark spots really are: They are basically skin cells that have lost the ability to regenerate properly and turn back to their original (light) color after being damaged by environmental exposure, hormonal imbalances, injury, inflammation etc. Dark spots develop from the overproduction of melanin, which is the pigment in your body that determines skin color. Although they can appear almost anywhere, they are most commonly found on the face, shoulders, arms, back of the hands, and the back - areas that have had more sun exposure. There are many kinds of dark spots, some that people adore- like freckles (there is even a popular trend of getting freckles permanently or temporarily tattooed), and then there are some spots that people aren't so fond of- like sun spots, melasma or hyper-pigmentation.
*In the case that you have developed a dark spot that is changing in size, color, texture, or just doesn't seem quite right, please make sure to see a dermatologist in case it is something more serious*
What Are The Causes?
- Sun Exposure: Being out in the sun without the protection of a broad spectrum SPF is one of the most talked about and known cause of dark spots.
- Facial Hair Removal: The ripping of skin while waxing, laser hair removal or threading can cause irritation and inflammation, which can ultimately result in hyper-pigmentation.
- Extra Gritty Scrubs: Although light exfoliation works wonders for your skin, those gritty scrubs do quite the opposite. It can not only make existing spots worse, but it also can create new ones due to the inflammation, and thus melanin production in the skin.
- Popping Pimples: I think this is one that most of us can admit to doing, even though we really know we shouldn't. Popping pimples stresses your skin, which leads to inflammation, melanin production, and therefore: dark spots.
- Birth Control: The hormones in birth control pills actually makes you more susceptible to melasma, which can flare up from sun exposure or even just heat. Just another reason to keep reapplying your broad spectrum SPF throughout the day!
- Medications/Supplements: Certain medications and even some essential oils (i.e. anything in the citrus family) can make the skin photosensitive. In regard to supplements, Saint John's Wort might be amazing for you, but should only be taken in the evening in order to prevent dark spots from forming.
- Aging: Yep, it's true. Just living day to day can be a cause for those dreaded dark spots, even though some of us are more susceptible than others depending on our lifestyles. Dark spots can even appear up to twenty and thirty years later-I'm talking to those of us who used to lay out in the sun with baby oil and idodine in hopes of getting as tan as humanly possibly.
- Diet: Extra sugar in your diet causes Glycation (a natural process where the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, forming new and harmful molecules), which results in aging and discoloration of your skin.
How Do We Get Rid Of Them?
The following is a list of tricks, treatments and nutritional tips to eliminate those unsightly, dark, pigmented spots:
- Wear Sunscreen: Prevent dark spots by using a mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, titanium oxide or both, as it protects your skin from the full spectrum of light. (We recommend our 100% Organic Antioxidant Moisturizer with SPF 15 or 30).
- Over-The-Counter Lightening Products: Utilize powerful creams and serums that are meant for lightening and fading pigmentation on the skin. (We recommend our Pure Brightness Dark Spot Corrector).
- Skin Peels: By peeling off the outside damaged, discolored layer of skin, your body will be prompted to grow a new set of healthy, even colored skin cells to replace the ones that have become dark and unsightly.
- BioChemPeel: This heavier peel has a bit of downtime, but is well worth it! The tremendous improvement in reducing brown spots, wrinkles, sagging and imperfections makes this peel one of the most effective resurfacing treatments on the market today - at a fraction of the cost of comparable traditional procedures . Available for your face, legs, arms and hands, this easy twenty-minute peel based on potent antioxidants and homeopathic remedies will eliminate sun damage, acne, rosacea, scarring, and signs of aging, while plumping and increasing the health of your skin. (Read more about this peel by clicking here).
- Organic Resurfacing Peel: Completely organic and void of any chemicals, this lighter skin peel will give you results within just a few days! There is no down-time and post peel appearance is not worse than a sunburn. Derived from organic sea kelp and herbs, this peel will greatly improve uneven skin tones, dark spots, sun damage, wrinkles, acne scars while toning and tightening facial contours. Recommended in a series: Imagine peeling an onion - little by little, revealing smoother and healthier skin every time you lightly peel away damaged cells! (Read more about this peel by clicking here).
- At-Home Peel: Our At-Home Glyco-Peel is simple to use and gives great results! This product lightens and brightens your skin while it also clarifies impurities and stimulates your collagen production. Use it one to two times per week and notice the truly incredible impact it makes. (Purchase this product by clicking here).
- Do you need to see it to believe it? Check out some of our incredible before and after photos by clicking here!
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a miracle worker for your skin. Not only does it promote brightness of your skin, but it is also an incredible antioxidant in general. Eat foods high in Vitamin C, such as green leafy veggies, oranges, lemons, papaya & cabbage and lots of berries - blueberries being the most powerful ones. As a nutritional supplement health experts recommend approximately 1500 mg per day. Apply it to your skin in its organic, raw form with our Skin Nutrients Lavender or Orange Rose.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is considered an excellent antioxidant for cell regeneration and skin healing, as well as prevention and reduction of pigmentation. It is found in foods like sweet potatoes, red chili peppers, lettuce, collard greens, carrots, spinach, broccoli and butternut squash. As a nutritional supplement, health experts recommend around 4000 IU per day - however, it is advisable to consult your physician prior to starting supplementation for your individual recommendation. In addition to Vitamin C, our Skin Nutrients Lavender or Orange Rose contain an abundance of naturally occurring Trans Retinoic Acid - all the Vitamin A you need for your skin!
- Vitamin B12: Deficiency in Vitamin B12 has been found to be one of the causes for Hyperpigmentation. It is present in foods like beef, liver, mutton, eggs, milk & cheese. Since these are all non-vegan foods, it is strongly recommended for all you vegans out there to supplement with Vitamin B12. Tremendous improvement in individuals with brown spots has been noted within just a few weeks after starting a B12 nutritional supplement. The RDA for B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day for those over 14 years old. You may consult your physician for an accurate individual recommendation. Spot treat your skin with our Pure Brightness Dark Spot Corrector to get the benefits directly where they are needed!
- Green Tea Extracts: Green Tea is a powerful antioxidant that is known to completely diminish dark spots. Whether it is soaking Green Tea bags and letting it sink into your skin for about 10 to 15 minutes, or applying Green Tea Extract directly to your skin, they both greatly aid in the disappearance of dark spots.
- Castor Oil: Castor Oil contains high amounts of fatty acids, such as Omega-3s, which are known to reduce pigmentation by piercing through the scar tissue and plumping the skin out. An easy way to use Castor Oil is to apply it directly onto the skin, massaging it into your face for 5-10 minutes, one to two times daily.
If you use some or all of these recommendations, please let us know your results and what you think! We would love to hear from you all!