What causes dark marks on the face in the first place?
Dark marks on the face, i.e hyperpigmentation in more scientific terms, form about 80% of the questions we get on skincare concerns. The primary reason for dark marks on the face is an unusually high amount of melanin (skin pigment) causing patches or spots that appear darker than the surrounding areas. This can occur due to excessive exposure to the sun, hormonal changes, injuries, picking pimples, medication, ingrown hairs, sensitivity to ingredients in skincare products, or underlying conditions such as acne, and melasma.
PS: Are you a pimple popper? Prevent any further dark marks caused from popping pimples with our Uncover Skincare philosophy “stick it, don’t pick it”, experience our advanced gunk sunking technology in our “I Am Spotless” pimple patches, shop here.
3 must-haves to clear dark marks on the face
- Adjust your diet
We strongly believe in the phrase “U are what U eat.” Adjusting your diet to meet your skincare goals is just as important as using the right skincare products on your skin.
Certain foods have the ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, even out the skin tone, boost collagen levels to repair acne scars fast, regulate oil production, restore the skin’s pH levels, unclog pores, and protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Some eliminate toxins from the body that could be causing dark marks and improve functionality of the skin barrier to prevent clogged pores that result in dark marks on the face removal in the first place.
Adding foods such as salmon, kale, sweet potatoes, lemon, legumes, quinoa, tomatoes, berries, cauliflower pawpaw, and pumpkin to your menu is a great start, but remember to complement with supplements. If you need help figuring out the kind of ingredients you should be looking for when buying skincare supplements click here.
- Use serums with specific active ingredients
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – serums are the holy grail of skincare PERIOD! Active ingredients are ingredients found in skincare products designed to target specific skincare concerns. Hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient will prevent premature ageing and alleviate dryness. Retinol, on the other hand, prevents premature ageing and targets acne. Read on to find out which active ingredients are for dark marks on face removal.
Serums tend to be effective because they have small molecules that easily penetrate the skin and work on skin issues. However, you need to be careful about when and how you use them hence the need to build a skincare routine. Check out our beginner’s guide here or take our free skin quiz to get your personalized routine in a few simple steps.
NB: If you have normal skin a basic 3-step routine consisting of a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen will do. Serums are applied before moisturizers.
- Apply sunscreen daily
Sunscreen is a foundational dark marks removal cream many of us (unfortunately) tend to underestimate and take for granted. The outer layer of the skin contains pigment melanin that helps to protect the skin against ultraviolet rays so the issue comes in when over-exposure to the sun causes these cells to darken and shed.
Sunscreen protects the skin from damage by UV rays, prevents premature ageing, lowers the risk of contracting skin cancer in half, reduces the chances of developing photosensitivity, and helps to maintain an even skin tone.
Guys, wear protective clothing, avoid the sun at peak times and make sunscreen your first dark marks on face removal treatment – no matter your skin type and weather.
PS: Did you know that 80% of the sun’s rays can either penetrate the clouds or be reflected by the snow? Avoid UV reflective surfaces such as sand, snow, and water, and eliminate photosensitizing drugs (Gonzaga, 2009).
Here are 6 active ingredients to look out for in skincare products
- Centella Asiatica (Cica)
Cica is a herbal extract that gets easily absorbed into the skin and clears dark marks on the face especially if you’re regularly exposed to direct sunlight. Some of our popular products with Cica include: Beausta cleansing foam, Neulii-derma ecto cica 11 toner, Neulii-derma ecto-cica 12 serum Neulii-cica pepta repair serum and Neulii-derma ecto cica 23 emulsion
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C prevents dark spots from forming and fades dark marks to a significant degree. It’s no wonder that our “I Am Brilliant” vitamin C sheet masks are among our best-sellers. Experience the brilliance of Vitamin C here.
- Mandelic acid
Mandelic acid fades dark marks on both the surface and deeper layers of the skin by stopping the production of melanin. We highly recommend it due to the fact that it’s gentle to the skin making it perfect for darker skin tones.
Arbutin fades dark marks by regulating the amount of melanin produced.
- Azelaic acid
An azelaic acid dark marks removal cream is another GREAT addition to your skincare collection. It is pregnancy-safe which means that if you’re dealing with chloasma (a type of melasma that occurs during pregnancy) you have something you can work with.
PS: Use in low concentrations if you have sensitive acne-prone skin.
5 factors to consider when buying sunscreen
Sunscreen is clearly a daily must-have. We think it’s about time you knew that incorporating any of the active ingredients listed above into your skincare routine while not being diligent with your sunscreen won’t do much for your skin. Aligning everything starting with your diet, as earlier mentioned, is your best bet so here are some factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen for best results:
- Broad-spectrum protection
There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays namely UVA rays responsible for premature ageing, and UVB rays associated with sunburns. When choosing a sunscreen, pick a “broad spectrum” sunscreen which means that the sunscreen will protect your skin from both types of sun rays.
- SPF 30 or higher
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. There’s normally a number indicating the SPF levels of any one sunscreen. If you apply SPF 15 to your skin you will be protected 15 times more than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. Aim to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above and reapply every two hours for best results.
Your ideal sunscreen should be non-comedogenic especially if you have oily skin. This is due to the fact that it won’t clog your pores and cause acne which could result in the dark marks you’re trying to avoid in the first place. Apply our non-comedogenic Neulii natural squalane desertica moisture cream suitable for all skin types before sunscreen for best results. Shop here.
- Presence of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide
Sunscreens containing titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both are referred to as physical or mineral sunscreens (a safer option than chemical sunscreens). They’re gentle on the skin and work by forming a barrier that UV rays bounce off of.
Water-resistant sunscreens are essential because they remain effective when we swim or sweat. When getting ready to start your day, choose the sunscreen that best aligns with your plans for the day. You can choose to have different types of sunscreen for different purposes.
Which active ingredient will you be trying out when buying your next dark marks removal cream? Let’s chat about it down below 🙂
Need expert guidance regarding dark marks? Book a 20 minute private consultation with our in-house certified skincare therapist, Joyce Waiharo, here.