Having worked in the skin care industry for over 12 years there is one thing that plagues men and women about their skin, especially on their face: DARK SPOTS! DARK SPOTS!!!!! People ask me all the time: How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?
Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation (the medical term) is a problem that can affect men and women of all ages, and can be very embarrassing and make people self conscious. It affects how we feel about the way we look. And how we look affects our entire life.
I understand the difficulties of uneven skin tone and dark areas on your skin very well. Not only do 95% of my clients come see me to correct uneven skin tone, but I also suffer from an uneven skin tone problem. I am an olive complected Caucasian, and I have a skin condition called Melasma.
Melasma is a skin condition that affects women more than men, and is caused by our hormones, (great, one more thing to blame our hormones on). It affects all skin tones (Caucasian, African American, Asian and Hispanic) people. It can sometimes be easier to see on women with a lighter skin tone (skin tone 1-2) because of the contrast between their regular skin tone and the melasma. The skin is usually “splotchy”. The dark areas do not have even borders, and can even appear like “spatters” of dark spots on the face. As if someone took a paintbrush and dipped in a darker skin tone and then spattered your face with the darker color.
Then there are the dreaded spots from acne. Clients will call me and say they have “acne scarring”, or “Blemishes” or simply “dark spots” from acne. These discolorations can occur on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and back. Anywhere there has been an acne bump. Acne causes redness and inflammation many times, and in skin of color inflammation or redness commonly leads to a dark spot. The dark spots will be worse if you “pick” or “squeeze” your acne bumps.
So what can you do to clear up your skin??? Well, the first step is to prevention. For melasma and sun damage that means 1) SPF 20 (at least) sunscreen on your face EVERY day that you are outside. 2) Try not to be in direct sunlight without covering your face with a hat, visor, umbrella, etc. I wear a visor ALL summer long. We went to the beach for our weekly vacation and my body was protected with sunscreen. My face was protected with a big floppy hat. I battle melasma all the time, so I protect my face from the sun as much as possible. HATS and sunscreen are your best friends.
For acne the best prevention is an appointment with a dermatologist to get medication that will prevent you form continuing to get bumps. I talk more about acne and treatments here. Truly the key with acne is the proper medication to keep the bumps from coming in the first place. Second, if you do get bumps, DO NOT PICK, SQUEEZE or otherwise mess with them. That will help tremendously to avoid dark spots!
Alsop finding a great Esthetician to get facials and proper skin care is very important in any skin care regimen. Using proper skincare as well as home care can help reduce hyperpigmentation drastically and work to treat other skin care issues such as acne, dry skin, oiliness, etc.
Using products that have ingredients that work to reduce enzymes that cause melanin overproduction are essential to helping reduce darkness and your Esthetician will know which products are right for you and your skin type.
The reason I know this is because I have dealt with dark spots for years and have tried many many products. I have done chemical peels, microdermabrasions, facials, etc etc etc. I understand how dark spots affect your self esteem, how it feels to be unhappy with your skin and have to use makeup even in the summer (which most women HATE), and I am a firm believer in using the correct products, and doing proper skincare.
This is not a fast process, but I will tell you that minimizing the dark spots on my face has made me much more comfortable going out without makeup, and when I DO use makeup it is MUCH less than I used to use.