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How To Treat Stubborn Dark Spots And Hyperpigmentation

Republished with permission from Musely an Evio Community Partner 



Anyone can get dark spots, but it doesn't mean they have to stay! Here are every dermatologist's top ingredients for fighting hyperpigmentation and sun damage. 



“Licorice root contains two ingredients that help with pigmentation: glabridin and liquiritin,” explains Dr. Michele Green, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor in New York City. Plus. “Glabridin helps to retrain tyrosinase, an enzyme that produces melanin which leads to pigmentation. Liquiritin helps to break up and remove melanin and pigmentation in the skin.”

In addition to helping with dark spots, licorice can be soothing and help even out your skin tone. Look for it in products like serums and use daily for best results.



Willow bark extracts is a beta hydroxy acid that helps to exfoliate the skin and encourage cell turnover. When this happens, your skin sheds dead skin cells and allows new and healthy cells to regenerate — giving you a more even complexion.

You can find willow bark extract in spot treatments, serums, masks and exfoliating peels. Some of the products like spot treatments can be used daily, while exfoliating peels should only be used once or twice a week.



Niacinamide is an ingredient you want in any complexion-enhancing product. Dermatologists love it for smoother, brighter, and younger skin, and you can find it in plenty of skincare products from moisturizers to serums. 

Niacinamide is effective with hyperpigmentation because it decreases the number of melanin transferred to pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) to skin cells by more than half. It doesn’t stop the production of melanin, but it reduces the amount that is transferred to the skin.



Vitamin C is a must-have ingredient for fading and preventing brown spots. It aids in the skin's ability to heal itself, so it should be your go-to when looking to reduce any unwanted red and brown spots on your face. That, plus its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, will give you the even skin tone you never thought was within reach. 

It's also a powerful antioxidant, which is really good news for those with sun damage. Vitamin C can donate electrons in order to neutralize free radicals created in skin after sun damage. So while vitamin C can't protect skin like sunscreen can, it can minimize the damage you can't see.



Kojic acid brightens your skin by inhibiting melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that colors your skin, eyes, and hair. Overproduction of melanin often gives you dark spots and uneven skin tone. Your body produces melanin with the help of an amino acid called tyrosine. Kojic acid inhibits the function of tyrosine, which, in turn, inhibits melanin production.



Hydroquinone is a prescription a skin lightening treatment that works by blocking the production and speeding up the breakdown of melanin in the cells. It also helps to inhibit the cell’s ability to store up the pigment, which helps to prevent further discoloration from occurring. "Hydroquinone is one of the strongest and most effective brightening agents we have," Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University says.

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