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A Complete Guide to Dark Spots on the Skin

Dark spots can appear on your face for any number of reasons. Sun exposure, breakouts, hormonal changes and aging can create dark marks on any skin tone. But while uneven pigmentation can be frustrating to treat, it’s not impossible.

Read on to learn how to improve the appearance of dark spots and prevent new ones from forming using clinically proven, dermatologist recommended ingredients.

What Causes Dark Spots on the Skin?

Dark spots occur as the body reacts to inflammation in the skin, sending a signal to pigment-producing cells called “melanocytes” to produce melanin pigment as part of the immune response.

Common causes of dark spots include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Acne
  • Injury
  • Hormonal fluctuation
  • Aging

How to Improve the Look of Dark Spots with Skincare

Two dermatologist-recommended, non-prescription options for improving the look of dark spots include:

Retinoids – Topical vitamin A derivatives -- such as the time-released retinoids in our Retinol Night Serum --  are clinically proven to visibly reduce pigmentation. Topical use of retinoids can speed skin cell turnover, exfoliating away dark spots on the surface of your skin while preventing new ones from forming.

Vitamin C – This powerful antioxidant is also clinically proven to decrease melanin formation and fade dark spots. It works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps prevent melanin production. It also helps prevent new ones from forming by fighting free radicals, which protects against the oxidative stress that can cause dark spots.

The Best Way to Prevent Dark Spots

Protecting your skin from the sun is the best way to prevent dark spots. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone use an SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or season.

Daily use of SPF – such as our Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen -- not only prevents against dark spots and skin cancer, it also slows down skin aging. In fact, 90% of visible skin aging is caused by the sun.  So if you’re looking to invest in any single anti-aging skincare product, a broad spectrum SPF 30 is our #1 pick.

Biossance Products for Dark Spots

Our selection of clinically proven skincare includes three powerfully effective formulas for reducing the appearance of dark spots and preventing new ones from forming:

Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen – Provides sheer broad spectrum mineral SPF 30 sun protection while delivering a burst of hydration and gripping makeup for extended wear. Natural zinc oxide protects against UVA and UVB rays, while ectoin and butterfly ginger extract strengthen the skin’s barrier, lock in hydration, and prevent daytime damage.

Retinol Night Serum -- Our groundbreaking formula reduces irritation by time-releasing our powerful retinoid actives into your skin over the course of 8 hours. The result: all the skin-smoothing, dark-spot-improving benefits of retinoids with a boost of squalane-powered hydration, not irritation.

Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum -- Visibly fade dark spots with this 10% vitamin C serum. Our uniquely gentle vitamin C visibly improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles while white shitake mushroom visibly improves uneven skin tone.

Christine Tusher
Christine Tusher Writer and expert
As a lifestyle writer and journalist, I love sharing my passion for ocean conservation and obsession with clean beauty. I’ve tried almost every trend and ingredient, and Biossance’s science-backed formulas are the only ones that consistently calm my reactive skin and make it smoother, clearer, and healthier. I’m so excited to be on this journey of skincare innovation with Biossance, and to share it with you!

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