Dark Spots 101: What They Are and How To Treat Them
In a perfect world, our skin would exist in a state of unshakeable harmony, glowing day in and day out without the earthly frustrations of dark spots, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. The reality, though, is that these are among the most common concerns across all ages and skin types. Despite our best efforts, no one is immune to the unfortunate effects of sun exposure, acne scarring, and free radicals. And while that may sound like bad news, we are eternal optimists — not only are there ways to fade visible damage, but there are also ways to transformatively heal and restore your skin so that true, lasting radiance is no longer such a dream.
Why do I have dark spots, scarring, and hyperpigmentation?
Discoloration and scarring can have any number of causes. Perhaps the most common is UV exposure which produces free radicals that accumulate and eventually overpower our skin’s natural protection system. Our skin will then visibly overproduce melanin — AKA dark spots — in an attempt to protect itself. Hormone fluctuations and aging are also known to create unevenness in skin tone and texture as the natural concentration of protective vitamin C in our skin decreases. Acne, too, if not properly healed, may lead to stubborn scarring and discoloration.
What can I do about it?
It might seem like an uphill battle, but with the right routine and a bit of persistence, it’s possible to address these issues. But where to start? You want to look for ingredients that improve surface tone and texture while going deeper into the dermis to address cell damage so that your skin not only appears glowing, but is restored to an ever-healthier state.
There’s no shortage of ingredients and formulations that promise to deliver on these concerns, but among the most tried and true are vitamins C and E, both highly-proven antioxidants that combine to form one of nature’s most powerful skin regenerating duos. How exactly do they work? Think of it as a two-level system. Vitamin C helps to disrupt the formation of free radicals and lighten surface hyperpigmentation while also acting as a chemical exfoliant that gently buffs away dead skin cells, improving the texture of your skin. While vitamin C is at work on the surface, vitamin E penetrates deeper, sending nutrients to damaged cells, calming inflammation, and providing additional photoprotection against UV exposure. It’s important to use only high-quality, stable forms of vitamins C and E, such as 3-glyceryl ascorbate and tetrapeptide-38, which appear in Elixir Firming Serum, and tocopherol, which appears in Vital Face Oil.
Any other dark spot tips?
While vitamins C and E are expert at addressing dark spots, incorporating gentle, ongoing exfoliation is an important way to buff away dead skin cells, allowing healthy, renewed skin to appear. Products with alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, can provide gentle, daily exfoliation to help with the appearance of dark spots and improve the skin’s texture. Citrus oils, such as the unique blend found in both Vital Face Oil and Elixir Firming Serum, are an excellent way to achieve a mild yet thorough exfoliation.
And one last tip, lest we forget! Vitamins C and E are at their best when used in conjunction with SPF. All together, you’ll have a dedicated team that works around the clock to build healthy, radiant, happy skin.