Feeling frustrated about dark spots on your face? You’re definitely not the only one lamenting your hyperpigmentation woes. These tiny brown spots somehow seem to appear overnight and are notoriously difficult to treat. We’ll be completely honest: You can't wave a sparkling wand and magically get rid of dark spots. But with patience, the right skincare routine (hello, SPF!), and skin-loving makeup, you can reduce their appearance over time. Here’s to brighter days ahead!
What Causes Dark Spots on Your Face?
Sunlight is the biggest contributor to dark spots on the skin. Exposure to the sun’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays boost the skin’s production of melanin, which is the brown pigment responsible for giving skin its color. Also referred to as age spots, liver spots, and sun spots, these brown marks show up in areas where melanin is clumped together or produced in high concentrations.
Dark spots are most likely to occur in areas that get the most sunlight, including the face, the back of your hands, and shoulders. It’s also important to note that they develop over time, which is why pronounced dark spots in people over 50 are so common. That said, while you can visibly treat dark spots with skincare products and conceal them with makeup, avoiding sun exposure is the most important step you can take. But avoiding sun exposure isn’t always realistic, which is why sunscreen application is so important.
What’s more, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that reduced sun exposure also minimizes your risk of developing skin cancer. It also prevents other signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity.
Do Dark Spots Go Away?
One of the most common topics in the world of skincare is figuring out how to get rid of dark spots. The truth is that you can’t remove dark spots quickly, and they’re also unlikely to go away without intervention. However, you can reduce their appearance over time by minimizing sun exposure and following an effective skincare routine for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The following skincare ingredients are considered some of the best treatments for visibly improving dark spots on your face.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a powerful ingredient that helps visibly reduce dark spots on your face. Studies have shown that it can also help with the appearance of other common signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles and skin elasticity. Bye Bye Dark Spots Niacinamide Serum contains 4% niacinamide along with 1% ethyl vitamin C. The formula is clinically tested to visibly improve skin tone in 12 weeks!* Apply it after cleansing, morning and night.
Antioxidants are one of your skin's best defenses against free radical damage, which is a culprit for brown spots, wrinkling, and skin laxity. They help minimize oxidative stress on your skin and are therefore an excellent ingredient to incorporate daily.
Formulated powerful triple antioxidant blend of ferulic acid, polydatin and 12% vitamin C, Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Triple Antioxidant Brightening Serum protects against signs of aging skin caused by environmental stressors like sun exposure and pollution. The formula also visibly brightens your complexion and leaves it looking hydrated, smooth and glowing.
Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient you can use to visibly treat dark spots and other signs of aging. It works by speeding up cell turnover on the skin’s surface to reveal a complexion that looks brighter and feels smoother. Hello Results Wrinkle-Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-Cream features niacinamide, as well as a blend of free and encapsulated retinol. When used consistently over time, it can help reduce the appearance of dark spots. In a clinical study, participants saw an impressive 25% reduction in the appearance of dark spots in 12 weeks.**
The Best Makeup To Cover Dark Spots
You can’t remove dark spots on your face overnight (wouldn't that be nice?) but you can definitely cover them with foundation and concealer before taking on the day. You can also use makeup formulas that leverage skin-loving ingredients that target those pesky brown spots so they do visibly fade over time.
Bye Bye Dark Spots Concealer + Serum
What’s not to love about a concealer that doubles as a skincare treatment? Bye Bye Dark Spots Concealer + Serum instantly covers dark spots via its buildable medium coverage and natural finish. What’s also cool is that the formula contains 2% niacinamide, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid, and has been clinically tested to fade the look of dark spots, fine lines, and dark circles under eyes.***
CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation with SPF 40
Sunscreen is crucial for reducing the appearance of existing dark spots and preventing new spots from forming. That said, make sure SPF is part of your daily skincare and beauty routine. CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40 contains a clear SPF 40 to shield you from those UV rays, as well as a 90% skincare formula that includes niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extract. In addition to instantly glowy skin and medium coverage, you’ll notice a brighter-looking, glowy complexion.
Now that you’re well-versed in dark spots treatments and prevention, take a second to check out our favorite morning routine for effortlessly glowy skin.
- American Academy of Dermatologists. Sunscreen FAQs. https://www.aad.org/media/stats-sunscreen.
- Bissett, Donald L., et al. “Niacinamide: A B Vitamin That Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance.” Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.], vol. 31, no. 7 Pt 2, July 2005, pp. 860–65; discussion 865. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732.
* Based on a 12-week consumer self-assessment.
** Results based on a 12-week clinical study.
*** In a 12-week clinical study.