Dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scars, especially when it comes to Indian skin, are normal and even expected. While there is nothing medically wrong with dark spots, meaning they don’t cause any harm to the skin, you may want to get rid of them for aesthetic purposes. Even then, age spots and other dark spots on the skin are nothing to be ashamed of!
While there are a ton of products in the market that promise to brighten, lighten and fade dark spots, it is important to be sure of what you’re putting on your skin. Some harmful ingredients like hydroquinone which bleach the skin do more harm than good. Plus, it is good to know what ingredients to look for when buying skincare products so you can target your skin issues better.
So, First, Let’s See What Causes Darks Spots
Dark spots or hyperpigmentation is usually caused due to the overproduction of melanin in the skin by melanocytes. This can be triggered by a bunch of different things. Some of these are:
- A pimple that’s been picked at
- Wound caused by insect bite, a cut, burn or other skin injury
- Certain hormonal imbalances
- Some medications
- A skincare product
- Sun and UV exposure
- Skin irritation from harsh scrubs
Ingredients that help get rid of dark spots
When buying skincare products, look for these ingredients. Not all of your products need to have them, just one or two are fine – for example, if your serum has an active ingredient, look for a basic hydrating moisturizer.
- Vitamin C
Every skincare enthusiast will tell you that this is the one ingredient you need to have in your skincare, no matter your skin type! Well tolerated by most, vitamin C blocks oxidative damage which in turn leaves you with smoother, brighter skin. It also inhibits melanin production, fading dark spots and reducing hyperpigmentation.
Pairs well with: Vitamin E, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, peptides, sunscreen
Does not pair well with: Retinols and benzoyl peroxide
- Azelaic Acid
This secret ingredient is a dermatologist recommended treatment for dark spots. It’s a naturally occurring acid made from oats, wheat or rye, which interferes with abnormal pigmentation. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a godsend for acne-prone, irritated skin.
Pairs well with: Vitamin C, niacinamide, AHAs, hyaluronic acid, sunscreen
Does not pair well with: BHAs like salicylic acid
- Salicylic Acid
This gentle exfoliant is great for fading dark spots too. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial so apart from dark spot fading, it also helps control acne! It is a natural keratolytic, meaning it breaks down the keratin in the skin, making dark spots lighter.
Pairs well with: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, lipids, sunblock, glycolic, lactic and malic acids, niacinamide
Does not pair well with: Retinol, AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol
Retinols are a derivative of vitamin A. They increase skin cell turnover which in turn reduces fine lines, wrinkles and acne. This active also exfoliates the skin, revealing fresher, newer skin underneath. This is a great treatment for oily skinned people as it does tend to dry out the skin a bit. Start with a very low concentration and then work your way up to prevent redness and sensitivity.
Pairs well with: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, lipids, sunblock, niacinamide
Does not pair well with: AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol
- Glycolic Acid
This exfoliator is an AHA that breaks down the bonds between dead skin cells so they shed faster, revealing glowing skin underneath. It suppresses the production of melanin too, so your skin sheds tan, spots, revealing brighter skin. It also fades acne scars, reduces pigmentation and gives you an even complexion.
Pairs well with: BHAs, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, lipids, sunblock, lactic and malic acids, vitamin C
Does not pair well with: Retinol, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol
Follow our 6 step routine to get rid of dark spots
It is not wise to use all of these amazing ingredients all at once – unless you want red, peeling skin. You can incorporate one or two and layer them with hydrating, soothing products so your skin can heal and feel soft, supple and glowing all at once. To help you with this, we’ve compiled a great skincare routine for dark spots. Follow this religiously and the results should speak for themselves!
- Step 1: Double Cleanse
To remove makeup and gently cleanse the skin on the go, use a non-drying, gentle micellar water to cleanse your face. The Mama Cica Deep Pore Cleansing Micellar Water will be your best friend! Just one swipe and your skin will be as good as new! Infused with cica, Korean ginseng, lotus root, tea tree leaf water and calendula extracts, it gently cleans your pores and soothes irritated skin.
If you have the time, go for a double cleanse. Use the gentle and nourishing Mon Cherry Dirt Dissolving Balm on dry skin and massage it in. Rinse with lukewarm water. Now, to complete your double cleanse, follow up with a gentle Chialeader Shine Control Gel Face Wash. Formulated with gentle chia and hydrating cactus water, it gets deep into your pores and leaves your skin refreshingly clean and supple. Plus, it comes with an inbuilt brush for ease of use!
- Step 2: Exfoliate
Now, one of our star ingredient walks in. The Mama Cica Instabright Peel Pads are soaked in glycolic acid and papaya extracts, just one swipe of these peel pads will leave your skin glowing and even toned. Regular usage will make sure that all those pesky dark spots fade away, plus it leaves the skin soft and supple, too. Just gently swipe a pad on your face and neck and let it dry.
- Step 3: Treat
Now that you’ve exfoliated, you need to give your skin a boost of hydration and get in any actives that you want to. We suggest the Mama Cica Dark Spot Correcting Ampoule. Packed with hyaluronic acid, cica, lotus root and tamanu oil, it moisturizes the skin while targeting dark spots. Plus, it revives dull skin, making it smoother and brighter. If you have any active acne, try the Mama Cica Zit Away Treatment Patches – just stick it on and forget it! Leave it on for 12 hours or overnight to see visible difference.
- Step 4: Serum
Follow your treatment with a radiance boosting serum such as the Bravocado Intense Brightening Serum. This lightweight serum absorbs quickly and leaves your skin soft and supple. It contains avocado, pomegranate, rice water, bakuchiol and 2% niacinamide which support skin barrier repair and leave you with glowing skin. It also contains arginine, allantoin and hyaluronic acid, all of which work to boost collagen production and help keep acne at bay.
- Step 5: Moisturize
This step is very important to lock all of the goodness in! Try a light, soothing moisturizer like the Mon Cherry Ultra Light Moisturizer which is packed with the goodness of cherry blossom, grapefruit, moringa seed oil, and hydrating ingredients like 2% niacinamide. It absorbs instantly and leaves your skin soft, smooth and hydrated.
- Step 6: AM: Protect | PM: Brighten & Care
If you’re stepping out during the day, use a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage. This also prevents more dark spots from forming. Use a wide brimmed hat as added protection!
In the night, follow up your moisturizer with a gentle sleeping mask like the Mon Cherry Overnight Peeling Mask which gently nourishes the skin with vitamin E and glycerin and exfoliates it so you can wake up with soft, plump, gorgeous skin!
Apart from this, make sure you eat healthier and include plenty of green leafy veggies in your diet.