When it comes to acne, we tend to focus on getting the blemish to disappear and how it only happens in adolescents. Some of us are guilty of popping their own pimples, or get pimples still in their late 20s-30s. After popping the pimple, then you realize that it’s taking even longer, and now, you’ll have a darkspot there for a long time to remind you of the consequences for being impatient over a pimple. Dark spots occur when the area that they appear has been damaged, which causes those areas to create melanin. According to News Medical, “Melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair color and is present in the skin to varying degrees, depending on how much a population has been exposed to the sun historically.” So the more melanin you have, the darker your skin tone, which means that if your skin already has high melanin levels, dark spots on dark skin tones create even more excessive melanin levels, which may cause hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation however is different, in which rather than spots, the excess melanin levels create patches of darker skin, which again is caused by skin damage. There are three basic types of hyperpigmentation, which is essential in knowing so that not only can you treat them properly, but you can learn what causes them, and how to prevent it. According to wikiHow these are the three most common forms of hyperpigmentation:
These are dark spots caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun. 90 percent of people over the age of 60 have them, but many much younger men and women have sun-related dark spots as well. The spots appear scattered in no particular pattern.
This type of dark spots are caused by hormonal fluctuations. Women might see darker splotches appear on their cheeks during times when their hormones are in flux, like during pregnancy or menopause. It’s also a side effect of birth control pills and hormone therapy treatments. Melasma can also occur as a result of thyroid dysfunction .
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
These are dark spots that occur as a result of trauma to the skin, which can be caused by psoriasis, burns, acne, and certain skin care treatments that are hard on the skin.
There are many known causes of dark spots, such as picking at your face, or the ones slightly mentioned above by wikiHow such as sun exposure, hormones, skin trauma. Knowing what causes dark spots is important in order to not only help you stop them, but it also helps prevent them by making changes to your lifestyle. Some of the causes provided by Cosmopolitan may shock you because they involve our daily routines:
- Your Computer
That’s right, your computer, laptop, TV screen, or even your cellphone can cause dark spots to occur. Sitting in front of these types of screens for a long amount of time may cause dark spots because of the uncovered fluorescent lights.
- Birth Control
Hormone changes can cause issues such as acne and melanin levels to up and down. The higher the hormone levels in your birth control, the higher the chance of dark spots to occur.
- Not Wearing Enough Sunscreen—Even in the Winter
Even if it’s 60 degrees outside, we should all be wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen is required even on cloudy days because UVA/UVB rays continue to shine down on us. So if you don’t wear sunscreen, sunburns and sun damage ultimately affects our skin which again may lead to skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation, or worse, skin cancer.
- Your Diet
Your diet should include a dose of folic acid, which are supplements which not only help our skin out, but according to the University of Maryland Medical System “folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health.” So not only can lack of folic acid in our diet can cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots, but it can also affect the body’s functions.
- Facial Hair Removal
Certain hair removal creams or waxing can cause skin discoloration and dark spots because of the chemicals included in the process.
- Citrus Products
When using facial washes or products such as our Clear Essence Lemon Plus Vitamin C Perfecting Fade Serum it’s very important to not only apply sunscreen after use, but to wait at least 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to go outside. The reason being is that citrus fruits have high toxic levels, so if you go outside while the sun is out, there is a possibility of your skin having a toxic reaction which may lead to severe hyperpigmentation.
Now before you close your computer screen shut, know that there are ways to prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation. And yes limiting computer screen time is one of them, though we all know that’s a tough one. Preventing dark spots is not only necessary, but it also helps keep melanin levels balanced so that there is less possibilities of your skin having dark spots. Another way to prevent dark spots is to help lower possibilities of break outs and acne in the first place. Here are a good couple of tips:
- Eat Healthy
Cosmopolitan mentioned earlier that in order to have clear skin, you have to eat properly. That being said, Clear Essence’s article on Summer Skin Care: Dos and Don’ts includes a list of some key ingredients that not only would go great with any salad but with most dishes as well such as broccoli, asparagus, avocado, strawberries, and many more. BBCgoodfood also includes of some of the main vitamins your skin needs and more specifically what foods to avoid that can cause acne. Eating healthy is not only said to help the body internally, but externally as well. Eating the right amount of vitamins can help benefit your skin from dark spots occurring, but it also helps strengthen your skin from sun damage and any other possible dangers such as infections.
- Choose the Right Routine for Your Skin
We all have different skin types and skin tones, so knowing what your skin type falls under, may help you find the right the product for breakouts and overall help your skin stay fresh and clean. Not sure what your skin type is? Check out Renee Rouleau’s skin type quiz which gives you details of not only what your main skin care is, but details on what occurs to your skin and ways to prevent it. It’s important to adopt a skin routine because our face can be at risk of bacteria and infections, so having a daily beauty routine both day and night not only achieves fresh and clean skin, but it helps prevent bacteria from building up and leading to acne or infections.
- Sunscreen, Sunblock, Sun Protection
Sunscreen should be included in everyone’s beauty regime—period. Although darker skin tones have SPF built in their skin, it’s not enough to protect your skin from the sun. Look at it this way—our body is protected by our skin which is like a “body guard” but sunscreen guards our skin from damage. So, protected skin means stronger skin cells, and stronger skin cells means stronger protection for our body. So if you know you’re going to be out and it’s partly cloudy or a nice sunny day, wear sunscreen and if possible a hat, or an umbrella. You can never have too much protection for your skin! Hawaiian Tropic helps explain what is the minimal SPF someone should use based off their skin type, and the effects of too much sun exposure, and how often you should reapply sunscreen. If you’re worried about sunscreen making your skin oily or dry, The Times of India has some helpful tips on what kind of product to look for based off your skin type. It’s important to use sunscreen, not only because of potential dark spots, but sun damage can lead to skin cancer, so use sunscreen daily!
Confidence should be a part of anyone’s beauty regime, so whether you’re comfortable with your dark spots or not, strive for comfort. If you’re not comfortable with your dark spots, know that there are affordable products that help fade away dark spots. Clear Essence strives to let the real you shine through, which means having confidence by achieving radiant and beautiful skin. Clear Essence offers products that not only help fade away dark spots, but also help protect skin from the sun, and help with acne.
This cleansing bar is used for not only for the face but areas of the body that are affected by acne and blemishes. The soap cleanses out bacteria, dirt, and oils and is good for all skin types and skin tones. The bar has natural ingredients such as sulfur and wheat germ that works to clean out dead skin cells and help create radiant skin. Use this to cleansing bar to cleanse and clean the face, and then apply treatment, and of course don’t forget to moisturize! Prevent dark spots from ever happening by keeping your face clean!
This is a medicated treatment which helps hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration and acne scars for normal to dry skin. The crème helps even out skin tone and fade dark spots with the formula that contains hydroquinone. Oh yeah, did we mention that it contains UVA/UVB SPF 15? So not only will you be fighting against your dark spots, but the formula also helps prevent future dark spots! Use this product after cleansing your face and then use a moisturizer.
This moisturizing lotion not only helps dry spots, but it also helps even out skin tone by preventing dry spots by creating an even toned glow. This best seller focuses on locking in moisture so that not only can dark spots be prevented, but it helps out with dryness and discoloration using hydroquinone and botanical extracts. Use this product after cleansing and applying your treatment.
It is important to love the skin you’re in, and have your confidence show every time you walk into a room. Not only should we be concerned about our skin, but most importantly, how our skin reacts helps identify how our health overall is. As mentioned earlier, having a good diet not only helps skin, but it helps our bodies prevent from eating foods that affect us not only physically but mentally as well. You don’t want to worry about a dark spot happening right? So limit computer time, eat your fruits and veggies, wear sunscreen, and find the right beauty regime for your skin type and skin tone. Most importantly, don’t let a pimple or dark spot stress you out and affect your vibes. Stay positive, and you too can achieve confidence and glow like a firework.