“Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time,” said aesthetic expert Linden Tyler. But if you have dark spots or unevenness, you may have tried various approaches that haven’t produced the results you were after.
Dark Spots: What Causes Them?
Hyperpigmentation, or the development of darker patches of skin, is a common problem resulting from the excessive production of melatonin. It is a big bugbear for those after a clear complexion, since it can be very resistant to common topical treatments.
Now the good news for those facing this issue is that there is a myriad of effective treatments that can put it to an end. From niacinamide solutions right through to IPL and other laser treatments, it is possible to have even-toned skin in just a few weeks.
Innovative lotions that battle hyperpigmentation contain a blend of active ingredients. These can include hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid (an acid that eliminates dead skin cells while moisturizing skin), niacinamide (which blocks the transfer of melanin without drying skin out), and arbutin (which stops melanin overproduction).
One of the most exciting ingredients used in targeted lotions is magnolia sieboldii extract, obtained from a patented Chinese plant. This extract reduces spots while also lightening chosen areas and preventing new sun spots from growing.
And, for more serious cases of dark spots, dermatologists sometimes recommend creams containing hydroquinone, which also prevents melanin formation.
There are many laser treatments targeting dark spots. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) laser is particularly popular, though resurfacing, Q-switched, and Nd:Yag lasers are also used. Laser treatment essentially works on melanin or water, penetrating the skin and heating up targeted areas.
Treatments like Halo essentially produce a controlled ‘micro-injury’ to the skin, resulting in collagen formation and the removal of pigment in the upper layers of your skin.
For complexions that have a blend of dark spots and redness, broadband light is effective as it not only erases pigmentation but also minimizes redness by targeting capillaries and dilated blood vessels.
Chemical peels are powerful treatments that exfoliate your skin at a deeper level than the average exfoliating product. During the treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, to eliminate its upper layers.
The skin grows back smoothly and with an even tone, while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles and scars. Deep chemical peels are ultra-powerful when it comes to brightening skin and lending it a more youthful appearance.
However, significant downtime is needed so that skin can rest from the sun and have the time it needs to grow. Light peels only remove the superficial layer of the skin (the epidermis).
As such, this treatment may need to be repeated or complemented by additional ones. With a deep peel, new skin grows back around 15 days after the treatment, but redness may persist, making many hesitant to try this particular dark spots treatment.
Dark spots can be caused by a host of reasons, including sun exposure, hormonal changes, aging, skin injuries, and inflammation. They often result from the overproduction of melanin—a pigment that lends skin its color.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin issue that can be effectively tackled in various ways. These include the application of topical creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone, laser treatment, and chemical peels.
Dermatologists often recommend a combination of these treatments, so you can enjoy dark spot free skin and feel happier and more confident about your look.
Photos from Unsplash