How to get rid of dark spots on the face?

Dark spots, also known as age spots, are a common cosmetic problem that can occur at any age. They are generally the result of excessive production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can be caused by various factors, including sun exposure, aging (age spots, signs of aging), hormonal disorders, and certain medications.

There are several effective strategies for reducing the appearance of dark spots , ranging from sun protection to anti-spot and anti-aging serums, tailored to each skin type.

What ingredients should you use in your care to eliminate brown spots?

To eliminate dark spots on the face, it is essential to choose skin care products with active ingredients that target excessive pigmentation. Here are some of the most effective ingredients to look for:

  1. Vitamin C : A powerful antioxidant , vitamin C helps lighten skin tone by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for melanin production . It also offers the benefit of helping to protect against UV damage and promoting collagen production.

  2. Azelaic Acid : This ingredient is known for its ability to treat hyperpigmentation and acne. It works by inhibiting melanin production and removing dead skin cells, which can help reduce dark spots.

  3. Kojic Acid : Kojic acid is another lightening agent that works by inhibiting the production of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the melanin production process. It is often used to treat age spots and other forms of skin discoloration.

  4. Retinol (Vitamin A) : Retinol stimulates cell turnover and can reduce the appearance of dark spots by exfoliating at a deeper level and accelerating the production of new skin cells.

  5. Glycolic Acid : This alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) helps exfoliate the skin and remove the top layer of dead skin cells, which can improve the appearance of age spots.

  6. Arbutin : A derivative of hydroquinone, arbutin is less irritating and equally effective in lightening age spots by inhibiting melanin production.

  7. Niacinamide : Vitamin B3 or niacinamide is known for its ability to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots. It also helps strengthen the skin barrier and improve skin elasticity.

By incorporating these ingredients into your skincare routine, you can effectively target dark spots and improve the evenness of your skin tone. It is always recommended to start with a moderate concentration of these active ingredients to see how your skin reacts, and to gradually increase the concentration or frequency of application according to the needs and tolerance of your skin.

Importance of sun protection

The first line of defense against dark spots is adequate sun protection. Sun exposure can worsen existing spots and cause new ones by stimulating melanin production. It is crucial to use a day cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply the cream to your face every morning, even on overcast days or in winter, as UVA and UVB rays can pass through clouds and windows. In summer, or on particularly sunny days, reapply every two hours and after each swim or excessive sweating.

Choice of anti-dark spots treatments adapted to your skin type

Skin care products intended to treat dark spots should be chosen carefully, taking into account your skin type. For sensitive skin, look for gentle formulas without irritating ingredients. Oily skin will benefit from non-comedogenic serums or creams, while dry skin will require enriched hydrating products. Anti-spot serums, which contain active ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid or azelaic acid, can be particularly effective. Apply these serums morning and evening before your moisturizer to maximize their effectiveness.

Your daily morning and evening skincare routine should include specific morning and evening steps to combat dark spots.

In the morning, start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser , followed by applying an anti-spot serum .

After the serum, apply a hydrating day cream with SPF.

In the evening, after cleansing, use the anti-dark spot serum again before applying a suitable night cream. This twice-daily routine helps maintain the effectiveness of anti-dark spot treatments and strengthens the skin's moisture barrier.

Professional treatments

If dark spots are particularly stubborn, professional treatments may be an effective option. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments are procedures that can reduce the appearance of age spots by removing surface layers of skin or targeting melanin. These treatments should always be carried out by qualified professionals and a prior consultation is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment according to skin type and sensitivity.

Anti-aging and preventative advice

In addition to direct care for dark spots, anti-aging practices can help prevent their appearance. Regularly moisturizing the skin, consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, and avoiding smoking are measures that help maintain skin health. Additionally, limiting sun exposure and wearing protective hats and clothing when going outdoors can significantly reduce the risk of developing age spots.


Mayo clinic. Age spot (liver spot)

Choi W, Yin L, Smuda C, Batzer J, Hearing VJ, Kolbe L. Molecular and histological characterization of age spots. Exp Dermatol. 2017 Mar;26(3):242-248. doi:10.1111/exd.13203. Epub 2017 Feb 9. PMID: 27621222; PMCID: PMC5342934.