Five secrets to a dark spots-free skin
By Josephine Agbonkhese
Dark spots on the skin, or hyperpigmentation, rank as one of the most common reasons people with darker skin tones see a dermatologist.
This occurs when some areas of the skin produce more melanin— the substance which gives the eyes, skin, and hair their colour— than usual. Although dark spots are harmless, it’s normal to worry about them and want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons.
Getting rid of dark spots, however, really takes time. For instance, a spot that is a few shades darker than your natural skin colour will usually fade within 6 to 12 months, while one that lies deep in your skin could take years.
In other words, prevention is best. You can adopt the following measures to prevent the formation of dark spots on your skin.
Avoid sun exposure
If possible, try to avoid going out for prolonged periods when the sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Because the sun’s rays are most intense during this time, try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day.
If you must be outdoor, then seek shade whenever possible.
Use sunscreen daily
This should be your first line of defence against dark spots. It is necessary to apply sunscreen with SPF 40 or greater and reapply every two hours.
Everyone should in fact wear at least SPF 40 on their face daily and reapply every two hours if outside in the sun, or sitting next to a window.
Wear protective clothing
Take additional sun protective measures by covering your skin with protective clothing such as hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves. For example, a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses are a good choice to protect your eyes and scalp from the sun.
Follow a skincare routine
While you should also clean your skin regularly, it is important to follow a skincare routine that includes the application of retinol, niacinamide and vitamin C.
Retinol works by speeding up surface cell turnover so that your skin reveals a fresh layer of skin faster, niacinamide is a potent antioxidant that helps visibly reduce dark spots, and vitamin C enhances the radiance and overall clarity of your complexion.
Try to avoid the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol allows free radicals to wreak havoc in your body, causing skin cell damage that can lead to dark spots.
Remember always that regular excessive drinking can lead to long-term skin problems aside exacerbating other pre-existing health conditions.