How to: 4 Ways to Fade Dark Spots

Here at MDC, we would love to think that we have all the answers for you. However, there are certain issues that require the insight of a pro. Today we asked skincare guru Stacy Cox to give us the rundown on dark spots and how to get rid of them. Take it away, Stacy!

Through the years, the beauty community has seen its fair share of beauty trends and hot topics come and go and "have their moment." In the late ‘90s, when microdermabrasion arrived on the scene, spas across the United States were racing to get their hands on the miracle device that improved the texture and overall appearance of skin by rapidly blasting dead skin cells. Then, there was fervor over glycolic acid peels that restored a glow to complexions in under an hour. And, let’s not forget the retinol craze! Everyone wanted the strongest formula you could get without a prescription that would minimize fine lines and deeper wrinkles. These days, the reigning trending hot topic is dark spots and any miracle product that will diminish them and leave your skin bright and even-toned. I’m jumping on this dark spot bandwagon and giving you my two cents on the ways you can make them disappear.

Fade Dark Spots

Morning Cocktail

Melanin is a type of pigment that our body produces. An overproduction of melanin leads to dark spots. However, this can be both controlled and reduced with the right ingredients. There are lots of vitamins and botanicals out there that can help fade spots by interrupting melanin production, including vitamin C, vitamin B3, soy, licorice, arbutin and kojic acid. Try to fit as many of these agents (via formulated products) into your daily regimen as possible. Want some advice on how to do so? In the morning, wear products with brightening ingredients that double-up as antioxidants, such as vitamin C, licorice and soy. Top off these workhorse ingredients with an SPF of 15 or higher to discourage any further melanin from mobilizing.

Product Recommendations: SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment CorrectorL’Oréal Paris Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector

Evening Cocktail

At night, use the same pigment-reducing ingredients listed above along with an alpha hydroxy acid or retinol to correct skin tone and help fade dark spots. The key here is patience. These spots did not appear overnight and will not disappear that quickly either. Follow this nighttime ritual for several weeks to see visible results.

Product Recommendations: Declèor Paris Aroma White C+30 Day Cure, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Mother Nature’s Remedies

If you’re looking to go a more natural route to controlling melanin production, try this natural remedy that is probably already in your kitchen: onion juice. Its acidic nature and bleaching property will help the brown spots fade. (If you’re fresh out of onion juice, try garlic juice.) Simply slice up some onions and rub the slices over the affected area two or three times a day. Another option is to mix one tablespoon of onion juice with two tablespoons of honey and apply the mixture to the affected area. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing the area thoroughly so that the strong smell goes away. Do this once or twice a day.


The other thing you will need to be consistent with moving forward is shifting your lifestyle patterns and habits around. Here are some of my über-essential lifestyle tips:

●      Keep a sun hat in the trunk of your car to shield your face and neck from the sun’s evil rays.

●      Get in the habit of reapplying your SPF periodically throughout the day. 

●      Divorce your tanning bed love affair which can not only advance your dark spots but also lead to skin cancer.

Have more skin concerns? Click here to get vital skin care tips!

Photo: iStock



    About the Author: Stacy Cox is a Los Angeles-based esthetician and owner of day spa Pampered People in Studio City, California.