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Best Ways to Reduce Dark Spots On The Face

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Everyone wants a clear face without a single spot. And why not? After all, we all want to look like our favourite celebrity. We dreamt of skin like them for years now, and we have tried numerous remedies to get rid of those tiny spots. Despite everything, those dark spots sometimes become very stubborn.  

how to remove dark spots on face

Are you wondering where to go to reduce or eliminate those dark spots on your face? But, before that, you must know the reason why you are getting those dark spots on your face. 

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation occur when your skin overproduces melanin. This forms spots or patches on your skin that are darker than the surrounding areas. They are usually harmless, but finding out the cause is essential as sometimes it may be due to an underlying cause.

What are the Causes of Dark Spots on the Face? 

Multiple factors may contribute to hyperpigmentation or dark spot including 

  • Sun exposure – Exposure to direct sunlight may cause increased production of melanin. It may lead to dark pigmentation of the skin.
  • Hormonal imbalance 
  • Irritation due to certain products such as waxing or over-exfoliation 
  • Inflammation – caused due to certain skin inflammations or injuries to the skin. 
  • Side-effects of medication – Medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), psychotropic drugs, or tetracyclines can lead to increased melanin production. It can result in dark spots. 

Did you know?

  • Approximately 85% of people in the United States experience dark spots on their skin. Source: NCBI
  • Sun exposure is the leading cause of dark spots, with UV radiation triggering melanin production. Source: NCBI
  • Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menopause, can also contribute to the development of dark spots. Source: NCBI

Home Remedies for Dark Spots on the Face 

There are several ways to get rid of these dark spots naturally. However, there’s currently a lack of scientific support for their effectiveness. Here are some famous remedies to try at home to treat dark spots.

1. Papaya

Papaya can be used for various conditions. For skin problems, papaya is an excellent exfoliator. Papaya contains fruit acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which is a chemical exfoliant. It will help brighten and give the skin a youthful radiance. AHAs are useful for dry skin, hyperpigmentation, fine lines on the face, etc.  

How to use

  • Take a bowl and mash a ripened papaya in it.
  • Apply it a clean skin.
  • Then gently rub it on the skin in a circular motion once the pulp dries on the skin. It helps to exfoliate the dead top layer of skin cells.
  • Rinse your face with water. 

2. Lemon juice 

Lemon is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. It may help to lighten up the dark spots on your skin. However, lemon juice may cause an allergic reaction when you apply it to your skin as it is acidic. Hence you can use lemon juice with other mediators such as yoghurt and honey.  

How to use

  • Take a tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of yoghurt.
  • Mix it well and apply it to your face.  
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with water.
  • After washing, apply your favourite moisturizer and sunscreen.  

3. Tomatoes 

Sometimes the cause of dark spots can be overexposure to the sun. Tomatoes are naturally rich in lycopene which may protect your skin from the sun. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too. They can help your skin look glowing and clean.

How to use

  • Apply tomato pulp on your skin.
  • Then gently massage your skin in a circular motion.  
  • Leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with clean water.

4. Turmeric 

For ages, Indians have been using turmeric for cooking as well as for its healing properties. Turmeric is an essential ingredient in a skincare regimen. It helps to reduce the production of skin melanin due to the presence of curcumin in it. Curcumin is an antioxidant with anti-melanogenic effects. It may lighten the dark spots and make your skin crystal clear.  

How to use

  • Mix a tablespoon of turmeric with adequate water.
  • Mix it well and apply it all over the face with the help of a cotton pad. 
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Rinse with water.

Dermatologists now have effective treatment procedures like different lasers and peels that may help lighten the dark spots. Do not get skin treatments from non-certified people. It’s best to visit a dermatologist’s clinic for such concerns.

Dr. Arpit Verma, MBBS, MD

5. Cucumber 

Cucumber is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and silica-rich compounds that help reduce the hyperpigmented spots on your face. 

How to use

  • Take some fresh cucumbers and blend them.
  • Apply the paste to the affected areas and leave it for 20 minutes. 
  • Rinse with cold water. 

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Hyperpigmentation

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a famous remedy for skin and hair complaints. It is a naturally derived ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. Aloe Vera contains 99.5 per cent water that helps to hydrate your skin magically. 

How to use

  • Apply pure aloe vera juice to the dark spots on the face. You can extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf. 
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes of the affected area. 
  • Wash it with lukewarm water. 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant drug that can be used topically in dermatology to treat and prevent changes associated with photoageing. It can also be used for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. I routinely prescribe vitamin c containing gel for my patients for spots

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

7. Yogurt 

Yoghurt is a natural skin-brightening agent that helps to fade dark spots by exfoliating the skin. It is rich in lactic acid which improves discolouration and age spots. It also helps to improve skin tone, and texture and reduce inflammation. You can use yoghurt alone or combine it with other healing products such as turmeric or oatmeal.  

How to use

  • Apply yoghurt on the dark spots with the cotton pads.
  • Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.

Also Read: What Causes Dimples: Exploring the Science Behind This Cute Trait

8. Red lentils 

Red lentil (Masoor dal) powder is very beneficial to treat hyperpigmentation on the face. They are rich in antioxidants that are known to be good for the skin. However, more scientific studies are required to prove the effect.

How to use

  • Soak some red lentils overnight in a bowl of water.
  • Blend it and make a fine paste from it. 
  • Apply the paste on your face for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with cold water.

There are a variety of remedies to lighten stubborn dark spots. However, you need to check before using any of the home remedies for allergic reactions. If you feel any discomfort, stinging, or a burning sensation, rinse off the mixture immediately with lukewarm water. 

Also Read: Is Crying Good for Your Skin? Unpack the Research-Based Truth

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to remove black spots from your face at home?

To reduce black spots on your face at home, you can try natural remedies like applying lemon juice or aloe vera gel, using exfoliating masks with ingredients like honey or yogurt, and applying sunscreen daily to prevent further darkening. However, it’s essential to be cautious with home remedies and consult a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment options.

Can aloe vera remove dark spots?

Aloe vera contains compounds that may help lighten dark spots over time due to its anti-inflammatory and skin-healing properties. Regular application of aloe vera gel directly to dark spots may gradually reduce their appearance, but individual results may vary. Consistency and patience are key, and it’s advisable to complement aloe vera treatment with other skincare practices for optimal results.

Can castor oil remove dark spots?

Castor oil contains fatty acids and antioxidants that may help fade dark spots over time by moisturizing and promoting skin regeneration. However, scientific evidence supporting its efficacy specifically for dark spot removal is limited. It’s advisable to perform a patch test and consult a dermatologist before using castor oil extensively for this purpose.

Can turmeric remove dark spots?

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the appearance of dark spots over time. Mixing turmeric with ingredients like honey or yogurt to form a paste and applying it to dark spots as a mask can potentially lighten them. However, individual results may vary, and consistency in application is key for noticeable effects. Consulting a dermatologist for personalized advice is recommended.

Can honey remove dark spots?

Honey’s natural antibacterial and antioxidant properties make it a potential remedy for fading dark spots over time. Applying raw honey directly to dark spots and leaving it on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing off may help in gradually lightening them. However, individual results may vary, and consistent application is key for noticeable improvements.

Can dark spots go away on their own?

Dark spots may fade over time on their own, especially if they are caused by temporary factors like sun exposure or minor skin irritation. However, some dark spots, particularly those caused by conditions like hyperpigmentation or melasma, may persist without treatment. Consistent sun protection and skincare practices can aid in their gradual fading, but consulting a dermatologist for personalized advice is recommended for stubborn or persistent dark spots.

Is vitamin C good for dark spots?

Vitamin C is known for its skin-brightening properties due to its ability to inhibit melanin production. Regular use of vitamin C serums or creams can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and promote a more even skin tone over time. However, individual results may vary, and it’s essential to use sunscreen alongside vitamin C products for optimal efficacy and protection against further darkening.

Is vitamin A good for dark spots?

Vitamin A, particularly in the form of retinoids, can be effective for treating dark spots by promoting skin cell turnover and reducing melanin production. Regular use of retinoid-containing products, such as prescription retinoids or over-the-counter retinol, can help fade dark spots and improve overall skin texture and tone. However, it’s essential to use vitamin A products as directed and to wear sunscreen daily, as they can increase skin sensitivity to the sun.

Is dark spot a sign of diabetes?

Dark spots on the skin, particularly in areas such as the neck, armpits, or groin, can sometimes be a sign of underlying insulin resistance, which is associated with type 2 diabetes. These spots, known as acanthosis nigricans, often indicate high insulin levels in the body. Consulting a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management is recommended if dark spots are observed alongside other symptoms of diabetes.

Is dark spots the same as hyperpigmentation?

Dark spots and hyperpigmentation are basically the same thing they’re patches of skin that are darker than the rest. They can show up from things like sun exposure, acne scars, or skin conditions like melasma.

Are dark spots caused by acne?

Yes, dark spots can be caused by acne. When acne heals, it can leave behind marks called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which are dark spots on the skin. These spots are usually temporary and fade over time, but they can persist if not treated properly.

Are dark spots genetic?

Yes, dark spots can have a genetic component. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop certain types of hyperpigmentation, such as melasma or freckles. However, environmental factors like sun exposure and skincare habits also play significant roles in the development of dark spots.


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