Unfortunately, it is a fact of life.
At one point or another, you will most likely develop dark spots on your skin, also known as hyperpigmentation.
Since the causes vary, no one can be completely immune from them.
That means you have one of three choices: you can just accept those nasty spots, you can try to cover them up with expensive cosmetics, or you can choose to fight them, with the help of a skin lightening cream.
Happily, many skin lightening creams are now safe and recommended by doctors.
So, let’s get started finding the best dark spot cream for you…
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Sun exposure – When the skin is exposed repeatedly and for prolonged periods to sunlight, your body causes melanocytes to multiply, which produces uneven distribution of active melanocytes in the skin. Those areas become darker than others, resulting in these nasty “black” spots.
Acne – Sometimes, after acne spots heal, you might notice lingering dark spots. These are the remnants of an inflamed acne lesions, or scars, which may or may not clear up by itself, depending on the severity of the acne scar.
Heredity – If your family has a history of freckles, liver spots, or age spots, your hyperpigmentation may indeed be hereditary.
Disease – Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, Nelson’s syndrome, Grave’s disease and other similar endocrine and autoimmune conditions may result in increased hyperpigmentation.
Aging – Otherwise known as age spots or liver spots, the spots caused by aging occurs as a result of the collective effect from years of exposure to UV light from the sun and/or tanning beds.
Types of treatment available
At home remedies – Usually recommended for daily use, over the period of months or years, with widely varying effectiveness for treatment of black spots, home remedies include a paste of milk and honey, vegetable and fruit extracts, paste of avocados, Vitamin E ointment, orange peel, mint leaves, and baking soda, just to name a few.
Chemical peels/lasers – Chemical peels and lasers are used to burn the topmost layers of damaged skin, thereby forcing the body to undergo the healing process to regrow new, smoother, clearer skin in its place. Since some peels and lasers may cause side effects such as scars and infections, be sure to get the facts from your doctor or dermatologist before proceeding.
Hyperpigmentation creams/skin lighteners – Also known as bleaching creams, whiteners, skin brighteners, or fade creams, these products work by reducing melanin in the skin, when applied to the problem areas.
They can use a variety of active ingredients, ranging from toxic chemicals, to natural acids (like retinoic acid, which comes from vitamin A), to natural plant extracts. Always read the ingredients before using any such product.
How to pick the best cream?
Before setting out to try a hyperpigmentation cream, you must understand that your dark spots, no matter what the cause, took time to develop. Therefore, only through time and consistent use of the product should you hope to see results.
The amount of time needed can vary greatly, from a few weeks to a few months, but one thing is for sure. The best creams will be safe for use on most areas, made from natural, organic, and/or safe, non-toxic ingredients (some skin lighteners use ingredients such as mercury, which can lead to mercury poisoning).
No treatment can remove these spots overnight. If a product makes those claims, run in the opposite direction!
Our top picks
We’ve compiled a list of the top creams for use against dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation. Rating them on effectiveness, customer satisfaction, safe ingredients, and ease of use.
Vitamin C Serums are also known to work well against dark spots. Visit our list of the best vitamin c serums for some of our top picks.