Skin Science

Everything you should know about dark spots

Pesky dark spots are the bane of clear, even complexions. Here’s what you should know about the different causes of hyperpigmentation and how they can be prevented to get your skin back on track.

Dark spots are small areas of discolouration on your skin, appearing in varying sizes and shades depending on how they form. For example, sun spots are usually larger than freckles and appear scattered across the skin. Spots caused by wounds or blemishes come in various shades and sizes and fade with time. While these spots don’t pose a risk to your health, they are certainly unattractive.

How dark spots form

The sun spots you’re seeing now may actually be the result of damage in your teenage years.

Too much of a good thing can be bad – like melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its colour and protects you from the harmful effects of UV rays. When your skin overproduces melanin in response to sun exposure, hormonal changes, or any type of minor skin trauma like acne and blemishes, this results in the formation of hyperpigmentation on your face. It can take a decade or two for sun spots to show up, so the ones you’re seeing now may actually be the result of damage in your teenage years.



Quick tip

The appearance of dark spots also depends on your skin tone. Take a closer look in bright lighting; they should appear as red or pink patches on lighter skin tones and brown on darker ones.

Genoptics Spot Essence How To Use Article Image 1 For clear, even skin, use a brightening essence to target dark spots.

Top brightening ingredients in skincare products

Topical skincare can be effective at preventing mild hyperpigmentation, as long as the products contain brightening ingredients. Starting a skincare regimen to target dark spots? Look out for these ingredients renowned for their brightening properties.

Masterpiece Radiance Serum Product Texture Article Image 3 Slow down the hyperpigmentation process in your skin with products that contain ingredients known for their brightening properties.

To even out skin tone

Slow down the hyperpigmentation process in your skin with products that contain ingredients and botanical extracts known for their brightening properties. Research from in-vitro cell testing has shown that mulberry scavenges UV-generated free radicals while liquorice contains a chemical compound that absorbs harmful UVA and UVB rays.

To alleviate future spots

Don’t skip your vitamins, kids. Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, is commonly found in whitening skincare. An SK-II study has shown moisturisers containing Niacinamide to be effective in improving the appearance of skin with hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C serums have also been popular in recent years, thanks to its effectiveness in preventing dark spots.


Tips to prevent dark spots from forming

As they say – the best cure is prevention. Keep your skin bright and clear by guarding against dark spots with these tips.

The all-mighty SPF

No matter how many steps you’ve got in your skin care routine, never skip this one. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields your skin from both UVA and UVB radiation and you’ll lower the odds of getting dark spots. Apply UV protection with at least SPF30 and PA++ about 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours as well as after heavy perspiration and water contact.

Using an antioxidant serum under your sunscreen in the morning can prevent free radicals caused by UV radiation that get through your first layer of protection.

Keep your hands off your face

We know how tempting it is, but don’t pop that pimple! The deeper and more inflamed that blemish is, or the more it is picked or squeezed, the more likely it is to leave a mark. Pimples heal naturally, though you can speed up the process with products containing retinoids and Salicylic Acid. Avoid touching your face at all other times, including resting your chin on your hands or sweeping your fringe from your eyes, so you don’t transfer bacteria from your fingertips to your skin.

Be good to your skin, slather on the SPF, and keep your fingers away from your face — you’ll shine like the diamond you are.

Products you may like

Discover crystal clear skin with these top picks.

Facial Treatment Essence Product Hero

Facial Treatment Essence

S$ 99

Genoptics Aura Essence Product Hero

GenOptics Aura Essence

S$ 199

Genoptics Spot Essence Product Hero

GenOptics Spot Essence

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