By: Khadija Dukes
Where do the dark spots sitting on our face usually come from and what causes them? What are better ways to fade these spots and brighten our skin tone? What are the best remedies for fading dark spots?
We want our acne to heal instantly and magically as we expect it to be the moment it appears, but, newsflash… it isn’t going to happen.
If you're on a budget and want to resort to some home remedies for dark spots, these items are not only inexpensive, but they are the best remedies for treating dark spots naturally. To get the best results, always wear SPF 30 sunscreen during the day to prevent existing dark spots from darkening.
By the way, make sure you always do a patch test for sensitivity before applying these homemade natural remedies. Generally, you can expect to see results within 4-6 weeks.
WHERE DO DARK SPOTS COME FROM?
Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes your skin to darken. This can either affect patches of your skin or your entire body. Age spots, also called liver spots, are a common type of hyperpigmentation.
Our dark spots often come from the acne itself and are flat against the surface of our skin. Hyperpigmentation doesn't indicate any long-term damage to our skin cells, pores or follicles. Dark spots are usually harmless however, this skin condition can be caused by underlying medical issues and certain medications can also cause your skin to darken.
Treating dark spots is way different from acne scars. While scars are more permanent and can take more long term and intense treatments, dark spots leftover from acne tend to become lighter over time with the proper care.
DOES VASELINE REMOVE DARK SPOTS?
Vaseline is a popular brand name of petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is mixture of easily spreadable minerals and waxes. Vaseline has been used for more than 140 years as a healing balm and ointment for wounds, burns, and chafed skin.
Basically over the years, people swear Vaseline has helped alleviate acne, dark spots, and dryness when it’s used as a sleeping pack or a nighttime moisturizer but some of these are a bit of a myth.
Vaseline is safe to use for the hands and skin and even use it as their moisturizer. Vaseline works as an occlusive ingredient and contradictory to what others claim, it doesn’t add any moisture to your skin or to your face, but acts as a protective barrier and will seal in moisture provided you recently wet or used a moisturizer beforehand.
As per Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital, “Vaseline contains petroleum jelly which is an occlusive ingredient. It forms a protective layer over the skin to protect and hydrate it and can be particularly helpful in extremely dry skin, or if you have cracked or open skin such as on the elbows, heels, or knees.”
So to answer if vaseline removes dark spots - No, regular Vaseline is just petroleum jelly and doesn't contain any ingredient that would remove dark spots. Vaseline is also not recommended to be applied if you have acne prone skin since it can make a barrier and clog pores due to its occlusive property.
8 NATURAL REMEDIES TO REMOVE DARK SPOTS FROM SKIN:
Since we learned that Vaseline is not recommended to be applied for dark spots especially when you have acne prone skin, you can try these natural home remedies for dark spots.
These home remedies for dark spots are:
- Vitamin C
- Aloe Vera
Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which can brighten skin and even skin tone. This form of Vitamin C has been proven to be an effective depigmenting agent that decreases melanin formation. Lemon juice also has acids can help fade pigmentation and smooth the skin’s surface to reduce dullness.
However, vitamin c found lemon juice can be sensitizing to skin, and the pH may be too acidic for skin. If you want to try it at home, make sure to dilute the juice with water and avoid going out in the sun after.
It's safer to use a formulated product with vitamin c. Look for an ingredient called L-ascorbic acid which is the pure vitamin c. A good product is the Banish Oil that has this is the Banish Oil. You don't have to worry about the pH or the increased photosensitivity from using lemon juice.
Organic turmeric powder is a great product for evening skin tone. In India, this spice is often used as part of a beauty ritual for brides-to-be. A mask made of chickpea flour, milk, and turmeric is applied to the face of the bride before her wedding to give her glowing skin. A study showed application of tumeric extract cream reduced dark spots by 14% after 4 weeks. Turmeric can also be mixed with honey to create a mask that will lighten dark spots and heal existing acne. Simply mix ingredients until they form a paste and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Turmeric may cause skin to look a little orange, so if you try this you may want to double cleanse to remove all the turmeric.
Plain yogurt contains high amounts of lactic acid, which is an AHA that can lighten dark spots and exfoliate the skin. Making a mask with this item is not only soothing, but it promotes cell turnover, due to the lactic acid found in yogurt. If you want to ramp it up, add Turmeric to this mask to fade dark spots faster. A plain yogurt mask can be left on the face for an hour or overnight for optimum benefits. If you will be adding additional ingredients, leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Pumpkin is filled with vitamin A and natural enzymes that help to treat acne and increase the skin cell renewal process to brighten skin and remove dark spots. Enzymes in Pumpkin helps to slough off old, dead skin cells to fade dark spots and promote glowing skin. Simply smooth some raw mashed pumpkin across the face and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes before washing it off.
Aloe vera gel has vitamins A, C, and, E, which help to reduce dark spots and even out skin tone. It is widely used in beauty products and for good reason. Vitamin A speeds up your skin's natural shedding process, vitamin C brightens dark spots and prevent dark spots from forming, and vitamin E renews the epidermis. Aloe vera gel works especially well if you have dark spots caused by sun exposure because the plant has been used for thousands of years to relieve sunburns.
Aloe vera also contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten skin and dark spots and work effectively as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment, according to a 2012 study.
You can find aloe vera gel in more stores, make sure it is the first ingredient in the list to get the most benefit. You may also get the gel from a plant if you have one. Cut off a piece of an aloe vera leaf and split it in half. Get the jelly-like flesh and apply this directly onto your skin.
A study published in The British Journal of Dermatology in 2011 found that tomato paste rich in lycopene protected the skin against short-term and long-term aspects of photo damage. Study participants consumed 55 grams of tomato paste in olive oil daily for 12 weeks.
Since tomatoes are rich in vitamin c and antioxidants, they are best suited to heal the skin from dark spots. The juice of tomatoes has natural astringent properties make it ideal for clearing blemishes and reducing the appearance of large pores. As far as the dark spots on the skin are concerned, the high lycopene content present in tomatoes helps in lightening stubborn dark spots
One of the natural remedies that help to whiten dark spots and blemishes on the skin are potatoes. You can apply potato juice or thin slices of fresh potato onto affected areas of skin and let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse your skin with water. Those who tried this remedy noticed positive changes after a few weeks of doing potato applications.
What’s a surefire way to brighten dark marks and overall skin? Rinse away that top layer with another natural exfoliant, like papaya.
“Papaya has fruit acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids, which is a chemical exfoliant,” Dr. Engleman explains.
WHEN TO USE FORMULATED PRODUCTS
Should none of the home remedies you tried to treat your dark spots worked, don’t fret. There are treatment options available and recommended skin care products to use. Treatment options such as chemical peels, laser treatments and microdermabrasion are available at aesthetic clinics or at a dermatologist’s office for extreme stubborn dark marks or patches.
Banish Oil - The Banish Oil is a natural Vitamin C Serum formulated without silicones, or dyes and made with the most potent form of Vitamin C: L-ascorbic acid. This type of Vitamin C is proven to improve dark spots, skin tone and texture.
How To Use: Apply 2-4 drops daily and pat into clean skin
Banish Vitamin C Crème – The Banish Vitamin C Crème helps to reduce appearance of dark marks, firms the skin, improves and evens out skin tone and hydrates without leaving a heavy, filmy and greasy residue. This cream is perfect for skin types like oily, combination, dry and sensitive.
The Vitamin C Crème is concentrated with 20% Vitamin C to reverse dark spots and skin damage.
How To Use: Apply a small pea sized dab daily on clean skin and massage in daily. It can take a few seconds for the cream to fully absorb.
Don't worry too much about dark spots, they're completely normal and they will fade over time! Also when trying any natural remedy for dark spots, always wear sunscreen SPF 30 or higher! Otherwise, you may not see results since sun exposure can darken existing spots. There are several home remedies for pigmentation that can help you lighten dark spots much faster along with products. Be careful to patch test each product first in case of a sensitivity or allergy.
How long did it take you to see results using natural remedies for dark spots?
"The Benefits And Limits Of Using Vaseline On Your Face" by Kathryn Watson from Healthline
"Here's What Happens When You Use Vaseline As A Moisturizer" by Ben Neiley from The Klog