Dark spots can affect everyone, but is your skincare hitting the spot?


The latest stats show that 43 per cent of women in the UK are concerned about dark spots, otherwise known as hyperpigmentation.

But what exactly is it?

Well, dark spots are the result of the overproduction or collection of melanin, a skin pigment that makes skin darker. This can be triggered by acne scars, excessive sun exposure, or hormonal changes.

Dark spots can affect everyone, but sun-induced dark spots tend to be more common on fairer skin tones, while darker skin tones are more likely to experience post-inflammatory pigmentation. In both cases, those with mature skin are likely to see them.

So what can be done?

Say goodbye to dark spots

Prevention is key

And this is done by always making sure you apply your daily SPF. As one of the main causes of dark spots is sun exposure, protect your skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays with a minimum SPF30 – better still, SPF50, which keeps 98 per cent of rays at bay.

Try: Garnier Vitamin C Daily UV Fluid SPF50+, £12.99 (Sainsbury’s) is a brilliant product designed to prevent sun damage. It’s available in ‘Invisible’, which, as the name suggests, leaves no trace on the skin, and contains vitamin C, peptides and hyaluronic acid, and ‘Glow’, a radiance-booster with mineral pigment, containing vitamin C and niacinamide.

Add a retinoid

A vitamin A derivative, whether retinol, retinal, retinaldehyde or otherwise, increases skin cell turnover, encouraging the development of fresh new skin and pushing older skin to the surface. This can reduce and in some cases even remove dark spots over time.

Try: Ren Bio Retinoid Youth Serum, £64 (renskincare.co.uk) contains a plant-powered retinol alternative, alongside ceramides and niacinamide to promote healthy skin regeneration.

Buff away

Once older, damaged and discoloured skin is at the surface, it’s time to gently buff it away with an AHA exfoliant. This ‘unglues’ the bonds attaching dead skin cells, and dissolves them away, revealing the new skin underneath – hello radiance!

Try: Gatineau Age Benefit Refining Multi Acid Peel, £49 (gatineau.com) is a 10-minute weekly treatment containing glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid.

On the spot

Dark spot skincare is trending right now, and there are some brilliant new launches designed to tackle hyperpigmentation head on…

*La Roche-Posay Mela B3 Intense Anti Dark Spot Serum, £48 (laroche-posay.co.uk) has been created for persistent dark spots, and has a potent hyperpigmentation-busting formula containing a patented melanin trapper and 10 per cent niacinamide.

*L’Oreal have launched an entire dark spot range, with a daily cream, serum and – my favourite – the Bright Reveal Dark Spot Exfoliant Peel, £31.99 (Boots), a weekly clinic-worthy treatment which combines 25 per cent AHA, BHA, PHA and niacinamide.

*Origins Mega Mushroom Dark Spot Serum, £70 (origins.co.uk) combines mushroom, algae and vitamin C in a daily treatment that calms irritation, lessens the likelihood of post-inflammatory pigmentation, and reduces existing dark spots.

*Pai Fade Forward, £59 (paiskincare.com) is ideal for sensitive skin types, with a soothing formula of marine algae, stabilised vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to gently fade dark spots.

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