Fix Your Dark Spots in 3 Steps! | Hyperpigmentation | Melasma | Skincare Made Simple
– In this video I am telling you the three steps you need to work through in order to fix your dark spots, or hyperpigmentation of the skin. (upbeat music) (bell dinging) If you have dark spots, and have no idea where to start for treating them, or if you have dark spots, but you just haven’t found success with improving your condition, check this video out.
This is another in my series of videos on fix your skin, where I give you short and sweet advice for fixing specific skin conditions. My video last week was three steps to fix dry skin, so check that out.
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Now, here are the three steps you need to take in this order to fix your dark spots, let’s do this. Step one, stop the progression. You are getting dark spots for a reason. There is something going on with your skin that is creating these dark spots.
So I ask you what good is spending the time and money on products and routines to fade dark spots if you just keep making new ones? So before you start cleaning up your skin let’s address the initial insult to the skin first.
For example, one of the most common types of dark spots on the skin is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne. We have to fix your acne first before we delve too deeply into fixing your dark spots.
I have several acne videos on my channel so far, so head over to that playlist if you are suffering from acne. Or maybe you have sun spots, or age spots, what are you doing to get those spots? Figure that out, figure out how to mitigate that, then tackle the dark spots.
Okay, so that’s it, that is step one, cut off the cause right at the root, stop making new dark spots so that we can start treating your current dark spots. Step two, know your pigment depth. This means, know how deep in your skin is that dark spot because this will matter when it comes time to pick how you will treat your dark spot so that you get true improvement, and you don’t waste your time and money.
So the skin has layers and the dark spots can be either very superficial where the pigment is just at the very top layers of the skin, or they can be deeper into the dermis, or the deeper layers of the skin.
You will be able to have a good general idea of how your pigment is if you know what your exact diagnosis of dark spots is, is it a lentigo, or is it a sunspot, or is it post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or is it an entirely separate process called melasma? And if you notice development of dark spots on the skin and you have no clue where they came from, you don’t have acne, or rashes on the face, or any other explanation, please see a dermatologist to really figure out what’s going on before you start self-treating.
Okay, so that’s step two, know your diagnosis and the pigment depth so that you can choose the right targeted treatment for your own skin. Step three, choose the correct treatment. Here’s my little short version of what you need to know to take action right now against your dark spots.
There are three main categories of treatment options to fix dark spots. Category one are topical products with specific targeted ingredients. For more superficial forms of hyperpigmentation such as acne scars, and sunspots, topical skincare products can work wonders on these if you have just a little bit of patience over the course of several months and beyond, these can really help.
Hang on to the end of this video I’m going through examples of my top picks for topical skincare products that actually work to fade dark spots. Category two, oral pills. Yup, certain oral pills, if you take them by mouth can help fade some types of dark spots.
There is a growing amount of evidence and success stories with oral tranexamic acid, which I recommend be taken only by prescription under the care of a dermatologist because there can be side effects, especially in those people who have thrombotic risk factors, so ask your personal healthcare professional about that and if it is right for you.
In category three, procedures in office by a professional can help improve dark spots. Yes, some of these you can find an at home version of, rather than in the office, but that’s another topic for another video.
So treatments like cryotherapy can help lift superficial spots off the skin and they sluff away as it heals, there’s chemical peels with specific types of acids that penetrate to different depths of the skin depending on where the pigment is.
There’s microneedling, platelet rich plasma therapy, and laser treatments. These are all treatments that have been shown in the literature to treat dark spots with varying degrees of success. Now these are going to be expensive, they are not cheap at all.
They are generally not covered by insurance and they will require multiple sessions, meaning multiple payments over time. So what does this mean for you? My opinion is that you need to have a topical skincare routine to fade these spots as part of your total treatment plan.
So even if you’re taking the oral pills, or you’re doing in office, or at home procedures, you still need to be using targeted topical products on a daily basis. So this will be part of all treatment plans, and it might just be your entire plan if your dark spots are not that stubborn or extensive, then topicals alone may be all you need.
So this truly is the best place to start and the most affordable approach. Let me tell you about my top three favorite dark spot topical treatments now. This is not sponsored, this is my own opinion, these are tried and true by myself, my followers, and my patients, just some real advice for you.
Number one is CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum. Why I love this product. It is packed with three ingredients that will help fade dark spots in a big way. The first being the most important, and it is retinol.
Followed by niacinamide and licorice root extract. Products that contain these together will really work synergistically to give you the best and quickest results. Now, this one is my preferred CeraVe retinol product for dark spots instead of the purple CeraVe Skin Renewing version, because that version is formulated more for fine lines and wrinkles.
I love that product, but this one is formulated more for acne and dark spots. This is my top recommendation for the first product to grab if you are suffering from dark spots, especially post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne.
And if you are still having ongoing acne this is the product I recommend. The second top product I recommend for dark spots is by Naturium, Tranexamic Topical Acid. Why I love this product. This is a great, topical version of that oral pill, tranexamic acid that I mentioned.
This is lower risk, it’s available over the counter, without a prescription, and it can still be effective. It is definitely a great, great place to start treating dark spots, including melasma. This one also has added ingredients in it that will work synergistically to fade those spots.
It contains kojic acid, a very great ingredient for dark spots. Contains niacinamide, and licorice root extract. It’s cruelty free, I know you all love that. Fragrance-free, paraben-free, I love the ingredient list overall of this because it really is a soothing formulation.
Love, love, love this option. And my number three top recommendation is a vitamin C serum. I love this recommendation for all kinds of dark spots, but especially those who have dark spots that are age spots, or sunspots, and are also concerned with fine lines and wrinkles, or have overall dull skin tone.
This will be a great option for you to fade your dark spots and also address those other concerns at the same time. In terms of which particular serum I recommend for dark spots, the gold standard in the industry is the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Acid.
It’s partly gold standard because of the superb marketing and this narrative built around this product, and it’s patented formulation. But that’s not to say that there are not other ways that vitamin C products can be formulated to also be stable.
I just think that the buzz around this product and the marketing doesn’t necessarily give us the full story. But if you have a lot of money to throw at a vitamin C serum, this is certainly the most popular one.
Now, if you want a more affordable option like myself, and many of my followers opt for, The Glow Maker by Maelove is the ingredient dupe for the SkinCeuticals one. It has vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid in it as well as hyaluronic acid.
Has this been compared in a head to head randomized trial to the SkinCeuticals one? No. Does the SkinCeutical work so much better that it’s worth the extra price? We cannot say that. If someone has done this study, please let me know.
Otherwise, my general approach is to start with the product that you can afford. Try it out. If you see results and you like it, then great, stick with it. If not, consider going to the next level up and trying that.
Skincare is a trial and error process you guys, not everyone is going to have success with the exact same products. I have a whole video on a vitamin C skincare routine. There are other serums I have tried and love as well.
You can check that video out, and I’m linking some other options below for you as well. So the CeraVe for acne, the Naturium for melasma, and the vitamin C for age spots. You can actually use all three of these in one skincare routine.
Stay tuned for my upcoming video where I build you a complete skincare routine for dark spots. I’ll explain how to combine these products, what to pair with them, when to use it, and how to troubleshoot some issues that may arise during your implementation stage of this routine.
Subscribe and turn on the notification so you don’t miss it. I will leave you with my final recommendation. I feel like this goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyways. And it’s that you need a sunscreen.
If you are serious about healing your dark spots and preventing them from coming back. I prefer mineral sunscreens, bonus points if it’s tinted with iron oxides for even more protection, especially for melasma prone skin.
One of my all time favorite tinted mineral sunscreens is linked below, as well as my absolute favorite budget option that I wear on a daily basis. And I get so many messages about this sunscreen from you guys who are thanking me for showing it to you.
Everyone loves it at such a great price. Everything is linked below guys, and some discount codes to help you all save some money. I hope you found these three steps for curing your hyperpigmentation helpful.
This is just the start of our conversation here on the treatment of dark spots. Stay tuned for more videos on this topic where we delve a little bit deeper into topical skincare products for hyperpigmentation.
And don’t forget to subscribe you guys, and head on over to my Instagram @thebudgetdermatologist now to keep on learning and demystifying the skincare process. See you soon. (upbeat music)