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A flawless-looking complexion is oh-so-enviable, but we know that it can sometimes seem unachievable. One of the skin care concerns that may be frustrating you? That’d be none other than dark spots. Although you can’t get rid of dark spots (cue sad trombone), there are steps you can take in your skin care routine to help diminish their appearance, such as using a dark spot corrector. (As a reminder, dark spot corrector should be used after facial cleanser but before moisturizer.) Keep reading to learn what causes dark spots, our best dark spot corrector, and skin care tips and skin care product (plus makeup) recommendations for reducing the look of dark spots on your complexion.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dark spots can appear on all skin types—and the main cause of dark spots is sun damage. Yep, when you spend time in the sun sans protection, this can lead to the appearance of visible signs of aging down the road, such as dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles.
Looking to add a dark spot corrector to your skin care routine? Our best dark spot corrector is the L’Oréal Paris Youth Code™ Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector. This skin illuminating serum can help fade the appearance of dark spots and discolorations and even the appearance of skin tone with continued use over time. Daily UV exposure and age can result in the appearance of dull, uneven skin tone and the appearance of discolorations such as dark spots. This dark spot corrector helps to correct and fade the look of dark spots and improve the overall appearance of skin with continued use over time. Immediately, skin looks more luminous and feels hydrated, while the appearance of dark spots are faded with continued use over time. Apply this dark spot corrector to your complexion after you’re done washing your face with facial cleanser, then follow up with moisturizer. In the morning, make sure to use a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as directed and take other sun protection measures as well (which we’re outlining below).
When it comes to dealing with the appearance of dark spots, you already know that using a dark spot corrector can help. But what else can you do? Here’s how to round out the rest of your skin care routine when you have dark spots.
1. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen daily as directed. As we noted earlier, sun damage is the most common cause of dark spots. So, make sure to apply and re-apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher (or a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30). But wearing sunscreen isn’t the only sun protection measure you should take. Whether or not you have dark spots, you should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
2. Add exfoliation to your skin care routine. According to the AAD, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs) that can help exfoliate skin’s surface and reduce the appearance of dark spots with continued use over time. Look for an exfoliating facial cleanser formulated with glycolic acid, such as the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser. Formulated with glycolic acid and gentle micro-pearls, this scrub cleanser helps exfoliate dullness and impurities from the surface of skin to help improve the appearance of skin tone with continued use over time. (Keep in mind that AHAs can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher after use as directed, as well as take the other sun protection measures we mentioned above.)
3. Apply color-correcting concealer. As much effort as you may put into minimizing the appearance of dark spots, in a pinch you may want to know how to cover them up. That’s when a color-correcting concealer could come in handy. This will all make sense when you use your knowledge of the color wheel. (Quick, think back to those art classes you took in school.) Dark spots can have a bluish hue, and since blue sits across from orange on the color wheel, shades of orange can be used to neutralize the appearance of dark spots. Pretty neat! The L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Color Correcting Crayon comes in three different colors that work to hide dark spots: peach for fair to light skin tones, bisque for light to medium skin tones, and orange for medium to deep skin tones. Select your match and start covering up! (Piqued your interest? Learn about all the ways you can use color correctors in our article, 4 Areas on Your Face to Apply Color Correcting Concealer.)
3. Follow up with foundation. If you’re trying to make your dark spots hide completely undercover, follow color-correcting concealer with a full-coverage foundation. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation is a prime pick, as it offers long-lasting, heavy-duty coverage.
Ready to learn how to minimize the appearance of another skin imperfection—dark circles? Come on, who hasn’t noticed dark circles under their eyes at some point or another. Now that you’re a pro at managing dark spots, you can move on to your next complexion concern and read up on Our Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles.