How to Remove Dark Spots On Face

As we age, the melanin production on our faces changes and becomes less even. The result can be sun spots, also known as liver spots, or dark spots on your face and hands. If you want to get rid of dark spots on your face, the following methods can be useful.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots At Home

Home remedies to get rid of dark spots are a popular way to get even and brighter skin.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is acidic and can help reduce discoloration and get rid of dark spots on your face. However, it can be irritating and drying to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first and let your skin get used to it.

How to use lemon to fade dark spots and pigmentation? It can’t be easier. Just get a q-tip and apply the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon to the areas of the skin that you want to treat. Do this twice a day and don’t forget to use sunscreen.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a cactus type plant that produces a gel rich in vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants help fade brown spots and prevent the apparition of more.
Vitamins A and E help speed up skin renewal while Vitamin C is a proven skin brightener. They have a calming effect on skin, which is why they are often used to cure sunburn.

You can either grown your own Aloe Vera plant at home or buy 100% aloe vera gel from a store. Apply the gel that is inside the leaves to your skin and let it dry. Aloe vera is also great for when your skin is feeling irritated, or to relieve excess heat and sunburn.


A popular spice that gives curry its bright orange flavour, turmeric is a messy but efficient remedy to brighten skin. A mask of turmeric mixed with water to a thick paste consistency fades age spots on skin and brightens skin tone. Just wait until it dries and wash it off, just be careful to wear gloves or use a makeup brush or your hands will end up yellow.


Lactic acid is a natural peeling agent that can be used to gently exfoliate the skin. In order to get rid of dark spots you can use yogurt as a mask for 20 minutes, then wash your face and apply a moisturiser.

Other benefits of lactic acid include improved skin tone and reduced pore appearance. Make this all natural face mask a part of your weekly routine to get brighter skin.

Buttermilk also contains lactic acid and can be used if you dislike the smell of yogurt.


You can use honey to lighten your skin and as a mild bleaching agent to get rid of brown spots on your face. You can mix it with lemon to make an antioxidant rich face mask that can be left on skin for about 20 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and apply a natural moisturiser afterwards.

If you have dark spots due to acne scars, honey is also effective at removing those and preventing breakouts. Honey is full of nutrients and has anti-bacterial properties so it’s great for congested skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants and minerals and can be used as a light peel and toner to even out skin tone, get rid of dark spots and prevent breakouts.

You can use it as a toner, diluted in water 1:1 but the smell is not the nicest thing.

How To Remove Dark Spots On Face With Skincare

There are many different skincare actives that can applied to your face to get rid of dark spots. Here are some of the most popular.

Retinoids and Retinols

Retinoids, available as prescription and Retinols, the over the counter versions, are a form of Vitamin A. They work against dark spots and hyperpigmentation in two ways:

  • Encouraging rapid skin cell renewal, where the dark spots shed and new, brighter skin cells take their place
  • Curbing the production of Melanin which is what causes dark spots in the first place

You can get retinols, which area form of Vitamin A naturally produced in the skin, over the counter. Retinoids, however, are much stronger and prescription only. Often they are prescribed as a second line treatment for acne, and they may have some side effects such as dry skin.

You will find retinoids under the following names:

  • Tretinoin, (brands Atralin, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, and Renova)
  • Tazarotene (brand Tazorac)
  • Adapalene (brand Differin)

And you should only use them under medical supervision.

How to remove dark spots on face with retinoids or retinols? Simple, follow the instructions and apply them at night. To prevent sunburn always use a sunscreen when using any form of Vitamin A as they can make skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Kojic Acid

This acid is derived from mushrooms or fermented rice and is popular in skin lighteners. It is often used with hydroquinone, a bleaching agent to lighten skin. It works by supressing a key factor in the activity of the pigment causing cells, but it can cause allergic dermatitis on sensitive skins. It can take several months to see an improvement, but the effects are long lasting provided you use sunscreen.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that is derived from sugar. It works as a natural exfoliator, removing dead ells and encouraging the growth of new skin cells. A peel using at least 10% glycolic acid can be highly effective to remove dark spots from the face.

Salicylic Acid

Similar to glycolic acid, salicylic acid is popular among acne sufferers as a breakout treatment. However, it also encourages skin cell renewal and helps fade dark spots and acne scars.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots With Cosmetic Treatments

There are a variety of treatments that can be used by professionals to remove dark spots. Some of them even have at-home versions that are even more effective than topical treatments.

Laser Therapy

Treatments using laser for dark spots fade the melanin accumulation that causes discoloration. Fraxel is a full face treatment that brightens and evens the skin tone. Nd Yag Laser can be used by a trained professional to eliminate dark spots from face.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels remove the upper layers of dead skin and makes skin glow. They enhance collagen production and cellular turnover, and reduce the appearance of dark spots. They are souped up versions of the acids that you can use at home on your beauty routine, and can cause irritation.


Another exfoliating treatment, microdermabrasion uses tiny particles to “sand” away dead skin. It doesn’t require recovery time, despite how it sounds, and there are microdermabrasion devices you can use at home. Diamond tip microdermabrasion is the most popular and perfect to fade dark spots and discoloration.

What Causes Dark Spots On Your Face?

Sun damage and acne are two of the most common reasons for brown spots on your face. Hormonal changes can also cause hypersensitivity to the sun and that can lead to melasma.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by injury to the skin and scarring. And the main reason for this to happen is picking at blemishes.

How To Prevent Dark Spots And Melasma?

The main reason for dark spots in face and hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. When exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays the skin tries to protect itself by producing melanin. Excess or uneven melanin production causes discoloration, dark spots and melasma.

So the first thing to do to remove dark spots on face for good is protect your skin from solar exposure:

  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Wear sunscreen with at least SPF30, daily. We love this one.
  • Avoid being in the sun when its at its highest (around noon)
  • Hats and sunglasses help shield your face from the sun
  • Seek shade when possible

Since melasma has a hormonal origin, be particularly vigilant if you use hormonal anti-conception or are pregnant. A minor sunburnt can have long lasting consequences.

Kojic acid can be used to slow down excess melanin production use a face moisturiser with this active to help get rid of dark spots and prevent new ones.

Removing dark spots from face and neck is time consuming, expensive and in some cases can have side effects. The best thing is to prevent them from happening by using adequate SPF and being careful with your skin exposure.

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