Dark Spot Defense: Your End Run Strategy
Good advice on defending your skin from the dark spots that creep in on the heels of UV exposure, age, hormones or inflammation.
Limit UV Exposure
Not all hyperpigmentation is caused by sun, but sun exacerbates all types. Melasma is caused by hormones. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by an injury to the skin (acne lesions, bug bites, cuts, or an inflammatory response). Age spots (solar lentigines) are a direct result of years of damaging UV exposure. Your first line of defense in all cases is to reduce UV exposure. Wear sunscreen, even when you’re just heading out to the market and kee in mind that damaging UV rays are not stopped by the windshield in your car.
Don’t wait until age spots appear. Getting rid of them is a lot harder than preventing them. When you’re still in your twenties or thirties, start using a daily serum that contains ingredients like kojic acid, lactic acid, and/or niacinamide. These ingredients work deep in the skin to prevent melanin production before dark spots develop. Kojic and lactic acid inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of melanin. Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanosomes (melanin cells) to the keratinocytes at the epidermal level. Vivant’s Derm-A-Gel® with vitamin A, kojic and lactic acids, plus niacinamide is the perfect way to mount your earliest defense.
Take Down Discoloration With Exfoliation
For defeating dark spots that have already appeared, regular exfoliation is crucial. This helps to bring pigmentation to the surface and lift it away faster by accelerating the cell turnover. It’s a slow shedding away of darkened skin until fresh, new, brighter skin emerges, and it’s a process that is essential to achieving a more even skin tone. Corrective serums with alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin A retinoids and mandelic acid are your allies here.
Products that combine brighteners and exfoliating agents deliver a one-two punch.
Vivant's Exfol-A™ combines vitamin A propionate with glycolic, kojic and lactic acids for a rapid cell regenerating formula that also works to prevent future dark spots from forming. Exfol-A™ Forté, the next level up, is intensified with salicylic and citric acids. For darker skin tones, Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Serum, in either an 8% or 15% solution, provides effective treatment with less irritation making it ideal for darker skin tones prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Don’t forget about diet. A deficiency in zinc is associated with excess melanin synthesis. Be sure you’re getting enough of this important mineral by eating zinc-rich foods. Good sources are spinach, beef, shrimp, peanuts, kidney beans and flax seeds.
Get An Antioxidant Boost
Give your skin some added defense by creating an antioxidant firewall.
Vivant’s Pure C + E combines two antioxidant heroes, vitamins C & E in one synergistic formula to neutralize free radicals, protect from damaging UV and environmental stressors, and promote regeneration of healthier, glowing, even-toned skin. The pairing has been shown to provide significantly enhanced photo-protective effects when applied to skin before sun exposure.
Put Time On Your Side
Remember that correcting an imbalance of pigmentation doesn’t happen overnight. Results begin deep within the skin and move toward the surface. Not the other way round. It will take approximately eight weeks to achieve visible results. Be patient.