5 Amazing Ingredients for Dark Spots (they work and can visibly brighten your skin)
by Oyéta Kokoroko
In this article, we shall discuss great natural tips to fade dark spots on your skin. I have been receiving many inquiries on how to reduce dark spots so I wanted to provide some tips for those who are interested. Dark spots also known as hyperpigmentation (are a common skin problem) which happens when skin that has been exposed to the sun has an increase in melanocyte cell production, causing a darkening of the skin.
When shopping for products that address hyperpigmentation and dark spots, make sure to look for these 5 amazing ingredients that work and can help in improving skin tone and making it even. We suggest to include the ones that appeal to you in your skincare routine and use them consistently (ideally 2 months) for best results, typically a more even, unified complexion. Fading dark spots does not happen overnight so consistency and patience are key here.
1) Rosehip oil:
Rosehip seed oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are known to correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin, all while reducing scars and fine lines. Rose hip oil offers amazing benefits for the following skin concerns:
- Scars and Burns
- Stretch Marks
- Sun Damage
- Acne Scarring
Some of the properties of rose hip oil include tissue regenerator, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, repairing, anti-ageing. For more information, check out this clinical (scientific) study by a group of dermatologists on the effectiveness of pure rosehip oil for cosmetic improvement of skin scarring. Read the Evolution of post-surgical scars treated with pure rosehip oil.
2) BHA’s and AHA’s. Alpha hydroxyl acids (or AHA) and beta hydroxy acids or (BHAs) are designed to exfoliate to smooth skin texture, improve the appearance of skin, even skin tone, brighten skin and reduce the look of scars/spots. They are very popular active ingredients used in brightening skincare, serums, skin peels and lotions. Products containing a high % of AHAs or BHAs may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunburn (consider using them at night only). Also, it is recommended to use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using products containing these actives and for a week afterward.
3) Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is a very effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin, acne and hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide can improve skin’s look and feel, brighten dark spots/skin tone and revive skin’s healthy texture. Applied topically, it also helps to reduce water loss TEWL, oiliness and improves the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and dullness. You will often find this ingredient in anti-aging products, acne treatments, dark spot serums and soothing serums. With so many benefits, it’s not surprising it’s so popular.
Are you using niacinamide? Remember to make sure it appears close to the top-mid of the list.
4) Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant (shown to be able to protect skin from oxidative damages). It has powerful brightening properties that will give you a more radiant, unified and illuminated complexion fast. It is a popular active ingredient used to correct hyperpigmentation, age spots and the effects of sun damage. Vitamin C can boost collagen production which makes it essential in a youth preserving (anti-aging) skincare routine. Vitamin C serums are trendy and very popular. The most effective ones usually range from 5%-20% of the active ingredient.
Some of the most popular forms of Vitamin C you will find on product labels are:
L-ascorbic acid (also known as ascorbic acid) is an active form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a very unstable vitamin and is easily oxidized in aqueous solutions and cosmetic formulations.
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (also known as SAP is a stable, water soluble form of vitamin C)
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (also known as MAP is a stable, water soluble form of vitamin C)
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (another form of vitamin C that is oil soluble and water insoluble). You will often see/find tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate in “brightening” facial oils and balms.
* Stable means that it does not degrade in formulas containing water. Vitamin C serums on the market contain 5%-20% vitamin C serum to effectively reduce dark spots, blemishes, scars, etc.
5) Carrot essential oil: Carrot essential oil is one of my holy grails (in terms of effectiveness) it is a must-have in almost every routine. Especially if you are dealing with dull skin, uneven skin tone, or spots you want to fade, think carrot essential oil. Add 1-3 drops to your daily moisturizer. It’s also effective when used consistently to reduce dark circles under the eyes and illuminate your complexion. Plus it has amazing anti-aging properties as well. I can say with confidence that this simple ingredient really produces visible results. My suggestion: add 1 drop to your facial oil, cream or moisturizer and apply twice daily.
Celery essential oil: Celery essential oil is less known but is quite effective for depigmentation. It’s actually known to and often used to fade spots. You may combine it with carrot essential oil to lighten spots, scars and reduce hyperpigmentation. However, celery essential oil is photosensitizing, so avoid sun exposure after application. Preferably use it at night time. My suggestion: add 1 drop to your facial oil and apply every night.
Have you tried any of these ingredients? Let me know your experience using them…
How to reduce the look of dark spots & acne scars
Rosehip oil Dark spot Elixir formula (15 ml)
Bearberry oil macerate 6ml
Rosehip oil 4ml
Seabuckthorn oil 4ml
Carrot essential oil 6 drops
*Celery essential oil 6 drops
Vitamin E 4 drops
* May replace for lemon. TIP: You may also consider products containing vitamin C or niacinamide at concentration 4%-10%. Reducing dark spots can take time. Be consistent and allow 2-3 months for best results.
My advice to get the most out of your brightening skincare routine is to first educate yourself on the type of ingredients that can help you. Then look for products that contain those ingredients and actives. Keep your routine and product choice focused and consistent.
For further reading:
1. A systematic review on the review on the Rosa Canina effect and efficacy profiles. https://www.rosehipvital.com.au/wp-content/uploads/15-3-April-2008-Phytotherapy-Research-A-Systematic-Review-On-The-Rosa-Canina-Effect-And-Efficacy-Profile.pdf
2. Contribucion a la identifaction de los principios activos en el aceite de Rosa aff Rubiginosa L. http://cosmesispedia.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/estudio_rosamosqueta.pdf
3. Aplicacion clinica del aceita de Rosa mosqueta en cicatrices anti postquirurgicas. http://rubigen.cl/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Uso-del-aceite-de-rosa-mosqueta-en-cicatrices.pdf
4. Draelos ZD, et al. (2006) The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production. J Cosmet Laser Ther. (2): 96-101
5. Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18492135
6. Evaluation of anti-wrinkle effects of a novel cosmetic containing niacinamide. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19017042