Do you have dark spots on your skin? Discover their causes and how to reduce them
After the end of the summer holidays and long days out in the sun, it’s now time for you to pay attention to the dark spots on your skin. These look even more obvious with a tan. But what if you can help your face regain health – showing off an even skin tone all year round? In this post, you’ll discover what causes dark spots, how to reduce them using a revolutionary dark spot corrector and, most of all, how to keep them from appearing. Your skin is a unique canvas: love it and uncover its secrets! Read on so you don’t miss a thing.
Dark spots on skin: what are they and what causes them?
Dark spots are areas of the skin where the colour is uneven. Their appearance is a natural response of our body caused by changes in melanocytes, which produce melanin uniformly. Don’t worry if this is the first time you’re reading this – we’ll explain in greater detail! Melanocytes are cells found on the basal layer of the epidermis and are responsible for synthesising melanin, the pigment that is activated upon exposure to ultraviolet rays to protect skin from their effects.
But why do melanocytes start malfunctioning? In some cases, melanocytes receive extracellular signals telling them to produce more melanin, causing this to concentrate in neighbouring cells (keratinocytes). When this happens in a specific area of the face, hyperpigmentation occurs – which is what we call a dark spot.
This malfunction leads to either hyperpigmentation – which is a skin condition where some areas are darker than others, causing dark patches to appear on skin – or depigmentation (absence of pigment or the presence of white spots) – which is usually associated with skin conditions such as vitiligo or albinism, which require medical supervision.
What causes the appearance of dark spots on skin?
What signals cause this increase in melanin in the cells? The most common are sun exposure together with artificial lighting, ageing and hormonal changes:
Sun exposure combined with artificial lighting
The sun is the most significant factor that causes hyperpigmentation in skin. Why? When UV rays penetrate the epidermis, they trigger the production of melanin. In some cases, exposure to the sun increases melanin production and it accumulates in certain areas of the face, instead of being evenly distributed per usual.
But what if skin is exposed to artificial lighting aside from the sun? There’s a new scientific trend that studies how artificial lighting from LEDs (such as light bulbs), the screens of electronic devices, or sunlight filtering through glass, together with UV rays, causes changes in how cells function, increases oxidative stress and accelerates the ageing of skin, which inevitably leads to the appearance of dark spots (such as the study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science by Adeline Rascalou, Jérôme Lamartine, Pauline Poydenot, Frédéric Demarne, Nicolas Bechetoille). This is due to the concentration of blue light emitted by both an artificial light source and a natural light source like the sun.
As our skin ages, it loses the ability to heal itself, with cellular energy and the synthesis of collagen and elastin likewise declining. In this stage, inflammatory processes (for example, blood vessels become more fragile) and oxidative stress are key as they activate melanin production pathways.
These are usually related to female sex hormones such as oestrogens and progesterone. This is why when drugs are used during menopause or oral contraceptives are taken, or during biological processes such as pregnancy, darker patches may appear on the face or other areas of the body.
Main types of dark spots
There are different types of dark spots: melasma, sun spots or age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Melasma manifests as dark patches of skin, which are often found on the bridge of the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin and upper lip. To a lesser degree, it may also appear in other areas exposed to the sun, such as the neck and forearms. This type of hyperpigmentation mainly affects women during pregnancy or when they’re using oral contraceptives or other kinds of hormone therapy. Women who have moderate and high skin phototypes (darker skin) are more prone to it.
Hence, 90% of the people who develop melasma are women of child-bearing age. While it’s true that pregnant women are more prone to developing melasma, most of the dark spots that appear on their face during pregnancy usually disappear after giving birth. This is because the melanocytes receive essential nutrients for them to work properly again, as during pregnancy, these were used to ensure that the baby grew properly.
In summer, the appearance of melasma is influenced by exposure to heat and solar radiation, while an improvement can generally be seen in winter. Nevertheless, it’s important to bear in mind that these dark spots appear due to the increase in hormone levels (oestrogens and progesterone) in our body. It’s actually this increase that stimulates uneven melanin production, which – combined with exposure to UV rays – shows up as a dark spot on skin.
Sun spots or age spots are another type of hyperpigmentation. You haven’t got a clue what we’re talking about? They’re dark patches that appear on skin as a result of exposure to the sun without applying suitable sun protection. You’ll easily recognise them as they’re often flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation which are tan to brown in colour. Who are more prone to developing these dark spots? People who’ve had repeated bouts of sunburn over the years, or people with fair skin and reddish hair.
Sun spots tend to appear after the age of 30, while age or liver spots show up after the age of 50. What’s more, the latter usually develop on the upper back, hand and feet, which are the parts that receive the most sunlight and exposure to the sun during a person’s lifetime.
It’s also worth pointing out that skin lesions or inflammation caused by cuts or skin conditions, also leads to the darkening of some areas of the face. Although the skin eventually heals itself, the melanocytes produce more melanin, causing a dark spot to appear at the site of the lesion.
How to care for and prevent dark spots on the face
Now that you know the different factors that have an impact on the increase in pigmentation in specific areas of the face and the different types of dark spots that exist, it’s now time to discover how to reduce them and help you revitalise your skin!
How? The first step is understanding that your skin is unique, and that the way to keep it healthy is by following a daily skincare routine tailored to your needs. Having said this, it’s essential to use a dark spot treatment that not only acts on the darkened area – giving you visible results on your skin – but also improves functioning at the cellular level (the melanocytes) to keep dark spots from appearing in the future It should also be a product that’s not photosensitive, so you can use it morning and night all year round, even in summer!
A dark spot treatment to reduce dark spots on skin
Formulated using an innovative and integrative approach, Lotus Radiance Dark Spot Treatment is here to help you fade dark spots! Would you like to learn more about how it works? Don’t miss what’s coming next!
Thanks to Cystoseira seaweed, which removes the excess production of melanin and slows down the maturation of melanosomes (where melanin is produced and stored), melanin synthesis decreases by 90% after 16 days of use. Together with the depigmenting and antioxidant action of Smart Vitamin C Capsules, the number, and intensity of existing dark spots are reduced.
It also contains Mexican arnica and Rhodella violacea, which work by preventing hyperpigmentation after inflammatory processes and protecting skin against external aggressions.
Aside from caring for and improving the appearance of the pigmented area, it’s also crucial for you to pay attention to other aspects such as facial cleansing, exfoliation and sun protection to go hand in hand with your dark spot treatment to reduce dark spots. Facial cleansing lets you maintain a healthy skin barrier to fight free radicals and get rid of excess sebum, sweat and pollution that build up throughout the day; exfoliation will contribute to cellular renewal and enable the active ingredients of the serums or creams to penetrate more deeply and be more effective. Do you want to find a routine to reduce your facial dark spots? We’ve made it easy for you with the Bye Bye Dark Spots Pack that combines a saponin-based cleanser, an enzymatic exfoliating facial serum and this depigmenting treatment. With these 3 products your skin will look even and radiant. Lastly, don’t forget to use sun protection! keeps UV rays from activating melanin unevenly and prevents skin lesions such as erythema or sunburn.
We at Freshly Cosmetics create natural cosmetics (all of our formulas contain over 99% natural, sustainable and vegan ingredients) based on scientific knowledge and studies. We aim to make people aware of the effect cosmetics have on their skin. We are scientists with a strong desire to change things and help people take better care of themselves, consciously.
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