Whether you choose to grow older gracefully, or disgracefully, dark spots can affect us all. But what exactly are they? And can you get rid of them? From your thirties onwards, it’s very likely that you’ll become aware of dark spots in due course so read on and be assured that there’s plenty you can do to correct this annoying side-effect of ageing. The real work, of course, should begin during your twenties, when you can take pre-emptive action and invest in the future youthfulness of your skin. If that’s you, listen up and get wearing a daily SPF!
What are Dark Spots?
We often hear about dark spots when we’re reading skincare articles or looking at the label of an anti-ageing product. Mostly, dark spots tend to be caused by an excess of the pigment called ‘Melanin’. When this happens, the skin darkens and creates brown patches of skin. The forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, shoulders and backs of hands tend to be affected and when there are larger patches of dark spots, we refer to them as ‘hyperpigmentation’.
In themselves, dark spots are not a cause for concern because they’re neither painful nor dangerous. That said, if ever you experience a sudden change in the appearance of your skin, you should always speak to your GP for advice to check that it’s not anything more sinister. Many people don’t like the look of dark spots and feel they’re ageing, hence the fact they’re also called age-spots, so prefer to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
What Causes Dark Spots?
Probably the biggest contributor to dark spots is UV-damage from the sun or tanning beds. Excessive sun exposure means that skin ignites into defensive mode, producing excessive melanin as a protective mechanism against UV rays. That’s why dark spots tend to appear on those areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun. It’s because of this that dark spots have yet another name that you might be familiar with, ‘sunspots.’ And some folk call them ‘liver spots’ as well. Confusing, isn’t it?
There are other causes of dark spots too. Hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, menopause or whilst using birth control can bring on ‘melasma’, a hormonal pigmentation. Anyone that’s had children will also remember being told about the ‘pregnancy mask’, a known phenomenon where hyperpigmentation occurs across the face during pregnancy but clears up in time after delivery once the hormones settle down again.
Another reason for dark spots is that as skin ages, cells don’t reproduce as quickly. So, when our skin suffers trauma or an inflammation, for example, a blemish scar, eczema, psoriasis or even a burn, it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Do Dark Spots Go Away?
Some dark spots do fade over the course of a few years, but it largely depends on the darkness of the spot, it’s cause and your skin type. Whilst some dark spots might eventually fade, further sun exposure can cause them to darken all over again.
Not only that, but as you age, you’re more likely to acquire more of them so as some fade, others appear. That’s why it’s so important to prevent further ones from forming and to treat current ones in order to restore youthful radiance once more.
How to Get Rid of Dark Spots?
Your number one defence against dark spots is to wear a daily SPF. Dr Dennis Gross Dark Spot Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 is a high-protection SPF which guards against dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles. It’s an intelligently formulated product, free from chemical filters, whilst loaded with antioxidants and Melatonin Defense Complex. This powerful duo provides a strong defence against harmful UV rays and that infamous skincare nasty, the free radical. Vitamin C and E are also in there to maintain healthy skin and keep it gloriously nourished.
Obagi-C® Rx System C-Exfoliating Day Lotion is part of the Obagi-C® Rx System, an early intervention system aimed at preventing and limiting damage to skin. This is a lightweight exfoliating daily moisturiser which harnesses the incredible power of Glycolic Acid. It sloughs away dead skin cells to diminish hyperpigmentation and also speeds up cell turnover to reveal newer, younger looking skin.
Also including professional strength Vitamin C, to brighten the complexion and provide even more antioxidant anti-ageing action to target fine lines and wrinkles, this day lotion will leave skin positively glowing.
We highly recommend applying Obagi Nu-Derm® Blend Fx twice daily to the affected areas. This fast-absorbing skin brightener will gradually improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, melasma and sun-damage. Packing a powerful punch to dark spots, this formulation combines antioxidants plus exfoliating ingredients to promote cell turnover, purify and revitalise the skin and prevent future damage.