How to Treat Dark Spots at Home

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This article first appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

Did you know there are three main types of hyperpigmentation? Melasma is believed to be caused by hormonal changes, which can be triggered by pregnancy, birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Sunspots, also called liver spots or solar lentigines, are related to excess UV exposure over time. And post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a discoloration that follows an inflammatory wound. It can be more severe and longer-lasting in those with medium-to-dark complexions, which is why doctors recommend gentler treatments that won’t inflame the skin for patients with darker skin tones. Here, how to best treat dark spots from home.

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A true beauty breakthrough, OPTE ($599) scans the skin to detect hyperpigmentation and deposits microdroplets of serum via a tiny ink-jet printer to camouflage it, resulting in an even skin tone.

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Harnessing a form of vitamin C called THD ascorbate, Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($85) is also formulated with glycolic acid to help reduce discoloration and polish skin texture.

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Formulated with hydroquinone, retinol and arbutin, VI Derm Skin Lightening Complex 2% Hydroquinone ($90) promises to brighten skin and fade dark spots in as little as two weeks.

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Dr. Brandt Dark Spots No More ($68) is a trusted dark spot fader thanks to its triple acid concentrate that employs azelaic acid, tranexamic acid and phytic acid to exfoliate and resurface.

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The licorice root, rice bran and mulberry root extracts in Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter ($53) provide potent antioxidant protection while salicylic acid and yeast extract help “cluster bust” to break up pigmentation clusters.

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Physician-dispensed Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector ($169) contains the active ingredient cysteamine, which inhibits melanin synthesis in skin cells to reduce hard-to-treat pigmentation.

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Targeting dark spots left behind by blemishes, ZitSticka HYPERFADE Brightening Microdot Blur Patch ($34) contains niacinamide, vitamin C, licorice root extract, kojic acid, TXA, and arbutin to help slow melanin production.

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