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How to help dark spots and protect yourself from the sun

Even if you religiously apply your SPF, any time you spend under the sun can have an effect on your skin. You’ll find it most visible on the areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands and arms, and presented in the form of freckles, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Here’s why and what you can do to prevent further discolouration.

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What are dark spots and why do we get them?

Dark spots are skin discolorations that are most commonly found on the face and are due to the overproduction of melanin in the skin, which can be caused by hormonal changes, age as well as sun exposure. For example, high levels of oestrogen during pregnancy cause an excess of melanin, which can lead to dark patches on the skin often around the cheeks, nose, lips and on the neck, known as chloasma. After birth when your hormone levels return to normal though, chloasma usually starts to fade too.

Dark spots, or sunspots as they are sometimes aptly named, are also linked to UV exposure from the sun or artificial UV lights used in tanning beds and can be found on other parts of your body like your chest, back and arms that are exposed more frequently.

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What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is also when skin is discoloured or darkens due to an increase in melanin. It can be the result of sun damage or when skin becomes inflamed because of another skin condition like post-blemish marks. These can all stimulate pigment-making cells in the skin known as melanocytes.

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How to prevent dark spots and discolouration

Although dark spots on the face do not cause any discomfort that requires treatment, depending on how visible they are (they are often brown in colour but can also be blue or grey depending on your skin tone), you may want to minimise their appearance for cosmetic reasons.

Products rich in Vitamin C can be particularly effective in managing hyperpigmentation as it not only helps to regulate melanin production but is an antioxidant, which is known to protect from free radicals and UV damage that can lead to hyperpigmentation.

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Our Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution serum is formulated with a stabilised form of Vitamin C. Our formula addresses uneven skin tones, helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and brightens the look of skin.

Ultimately, prevention is key though. With UV exposure one of the main causes of hyperpigmentation, regularly applying sun cream is the best way to help prevent dark spots and discolouration from forming. Choose a high broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion that offers protection from UVA and UVB rays. As blemishes are more likely to cause discolouration the longer they last, treating breakouts quickly and effectively with targeted ingredients can also prevent hyperpigmentation. Look for ingredients like Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid. We love our Breakout Control Treatment Lotion.

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