The most common reason for dark spots on the face is the sun. Constant exposure to the harsh UV rays can cause skin discolouration which is popularly known as hyperpigmentation in the skincare world. Other reasons for dark spots can be acne scars or blemishes and hormonal changes.
You’re also at the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that develops when skin inflammation caused due to a minor injury takes a long time to heal. Also, when certain skin cells have more melanin than others, it often results in darker skin patches. Melanin is what gives your skin its colour. As you age, the melanin production in your body deteriorates. This situation is commonly referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Well, anybody experiencing an uneven tone would probably first reach for a skin lightening cream. You don’t want the dark spots on your face to come in the way of your beauty game, do you? You’ll be happy to know that apart from some over-the-counter prescriptions, there are also a few home remedies that can help you get rid of black spots on the face. However, before we delve into that let's take a look at what causes dark spots.
Here are a few effective natural remedies you need to inculcate in your regular skincare routine.
- 1. Causes of dark spots on the face
- 2. Home remedies for dark spots
- - Apple cider vinegar
- - Potato slices
- - Buttermilk
- - Oatmeal
- - Aloe vera gel
- - Turmeric
- - Saffron
- - Papaya
- 3. FAQs about Black Dark Spots on Face
1. Causes of dark spots on the face
Dark spots are a common concern among women of all ages. But did you know the causes of dark spots are not the same for everyone? That's true, some can appear due to age while others could be a result of popping a pimple. Let's take a look at all the common causes of dark spots on the face.
i) Sun exposure
Freckles, sunspots are common types of pigmentation that appear when the skin is exposed to the harsh rays of the sun. This can be prevented by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
ii) Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes are considered to be another major cause of dark spots. Melasma is a type of skin condition that appears post-pregnancy on the cheek and forehead.
iii) Side effects
Medication and skincare products can sometimes cause side effects on the skin leading to dark spots. Products with artificial fragrances and anti-inflammatory drugs may cause spots on the face.
2. Home remedies for dark spots
Now that we have understood the causes of dark spots, the next step is to find safe and natural home remedies that will help fade these spots. You can continue using your regular skincare products along with these natural remedies to accelerate the healing process. All you need are a few ingredients from the pantry.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to be the most inexpensive elixir that helps keep your beauty game top-notch. Apart from controlling excess greasiness, treating acne and softening your hair, ACV has a number of beauty benefits. This pantry staple helps kickstart cellular growth which means that new skin cells surface quicker (read: visibly clear skin).
How to: All you need to do is mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a small bowl. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and sweep it across your face gently. Alternatively, you can only apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Repeat this home remedy to treat dark spots on the face at least twice a day for effective results.
- Potato slices
Packed with essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B6, zinc, phosphorus and vitamin C, potatoes are a great remedy to treat black spots on the face. The sugar and starch present in potatoes have exfoliating properties that help you get rid of dead skin cells and accelerate the growth of new skin cells. And that’s not all! Using potatoes on your skin can also boost collagen production.
How to: All you need to do is take a potato and cut it into small, thin slices. Moisten the slices with water and then place it on the affected area and leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s best to use this remedy at night just before hitting the sheets. You will wake up to fresh, glowing and spotless skin with continued use.
High amounts of lactic acid in curds, milk and buttermilk make them an effective home remedy to fade dark spots on the face. Loaded with vitamins A, D, B12, B6, biotin and lactic acid, buttermilk is not only beneficial for your general health, but also for the health of your skin. These essential nutrients help remove dead skin cells and lighten black spots on the face. It also helps rejuvenate the collagen in the skin and fights age spots.
How to: How do you use buttermilk in your skincare routine, you ask? Simply soak a cotton pad in buttermilk and sweep it across your face. Alternatively, you can use it only on the affected areas. Leave it to dry for about 20 minutes before washing with clean water. Repeat this easy-peasy home remedy daily for faster results.
We all know about the health benefits of oatmeal. But, you’ll be surprised to know that this breakfast staple is also a boon for your skin. Oatmeal has amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and exfoliating properties that help clear away dead skin cells and calm itchy, irritated skin. Apart from lightening pigmentation, oatmeal is also a great remedy for all those with excessively oily skin. Packed with saponins, oatmeal acts as a natural cleanser, keeping dirt, bacteria and oil from clogging pores.
How to: To prepare an oatmeal face mask to treat those dark spots on the face, all you need to do is mix together three tablespoons of oatmeal with one tablespoon of honey and milk each. Apply the paste onto the affected areas and leave it on until it dries completely. Lastly, rinse with lukewarm water. While oatmeal exfoliates the skin, honey and milk help moisturize and fade the dark spots.
- Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties. Whether you’re dealing with inflamed skin, redness or bumps, aloe vera can give you instant relief. And, you’ll be happy to know that aloe vera gel is good news for pigmentation, too. Yes, you read that right! Packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, E and C, aloe vera helps fade dark spots on the face and even out your skin tone. Aloe vera can be a rescue agent for sun-damaged skin. The vitamin C found in aloe vera can help you get rid of black spots on the face and brighten your complexion.
How to: Extract the gel from a fresh aloe vera stem. Then mix it with some freshly grated cucumber, a few drops of lemon juice and one tablespoon of sandalwood powder. Apply this paste on the affected areas and let it dry completely. Once dry, rinse your face with ice-cold water and pat dry.
Turmeric is a vital part of the Indian culture not just for cooking but also for beautification. There's a reason why brides and grooms have applied turmeric before their wedding day, this yellow spice has the ability to correct uneven skin tone and impart a healthy glow. That's not all according to one study topical application of turmeric can reduce hyper-pigmentation up to 14 per cent just after four weeks of use.
How to: In a bowl, take two tablespoons each of gram flour and curd, mix well to form a thick paste. Then add a teaspoon of turmeric to it, mix again. Apply all over the skin as a face pack and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water afterwards.
There's a reason why saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Those thin strands obtained from an exotic flower has numerous health and beauty benefits. Saffron offers protection from the UV rays of the sun and keeps it young and glowing. It also has the ability to correct uneven skin tone and reduce pigmentation and dark spots.
How to: Soak a few strands of saffron in water for a few hours or overnight. Then add two teaspoons of turmeric to it and make a thick paste. Apply on the face let stay for some time then wash off.
Apart from being a super healthy fruit with innumerable health benefits, papaya is also a great ingredient to maintain healthy and glowing skin. The natural bleaching properties in papaya make it an excellent fruit for topical application. With regular use, it is known to reduce acne scars, pigmentation and dark spots effectively.
How to: In a blender or food processor add thin slices of green papaya and grind into a paste. Apply it all over the face and let stay for 20-30 minutes then wash off. Repeat this every morning and night for best results.
3. FAQs about Black Dark Spots on Face
Q. What skincare ingredients help treat dark spots on the face?
A. Skincare ingredients such as kojic acid, glycolic acid, azelaic acid, vitamin C and retinoids can help speed up the process of fading dark spots on the face. Using products with such skin lightening ingredients in your daily skincare routine can treat hyperpigmentation.
Q. Does baking soda help remove dark spots?
A. Owing to its bleaching properties, baking soda can help fade away black marks and spots on the skin. However, it’s important that you mix baking soda with other natural ingredients as it can be harsh on your skin if used topically. You can add lemon juice to baking soda to create a smooth paste and use this as a spot treatment.
Q. How do I get rid of dark spots caused by pimples?
A. As soon as you notice that your pimple has started to fade, don’t be in a rush to apply any exfoliating acids on the area. This can further deepen the black marks or spots. When the spot is still red, your skin is not yet ready to be exfoliated. So wait until the pimple has healed and then use retinol-infused products every night before hitting the bed to speed up skin cell regeneration.
Written by Fatema Habib on May 13, 2020