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A guide to the causes of black spots on skin


What Are Those Dark Spots on My Face?

The black or dark spots on your face are also known as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation comes in many forms, shapes and sizes, from acne marks to age spots. In this article, experts from The Pond’s Institute shed light on the five main causes of black spots on the face.

1. Blame it on the Sunshine: Environmental Causes of Dark Spots

As the earth’s ozone layer continues to deplete, modern life exposes us now more than ever to the sun’s rays. For those of us who live in cities, pollution is inescapable. Our skin has to deal with this hostile environment every day, and its natural defences weaken as a result.

But how exactly does sunlight cause those black spots to appear on your skin?

Melanin, a pigment produced in response to sunlight, is the body’s way of protecting the skin against harmful UV rays. However, overexposure to the increasingly harsh effects of the sun causes increased melanin production deep inside the skin, leading to visible dark spots on the skin’s surface and the darkening of existing dark spots such as freckles or age spots.

The Effects of Pollutants

Pollutants in the air play a similar role in causing dark spots to appear on your face. To reverse the damage wrought by pollution and irritants entering your skin, your cells produce antioxidants and excess melanin, leading to the formation of black spots on your skin.

Dark spots can develop when skin is exposed to irritants in the air

To lessen the effects of sunshine and pollution on your skin, always wear suitable sun protection such as a sun hat and make sure that you use the correct SPF for your skin type and the weather. Using a cream with built-in sun protection, such as Pond's Flawless White Day Cream can protect your skin while repairing damaged cells and brightening your complexion.

While pollution can be harder to escape than the sun, you can give your skin a break by trying to avoid main roads and staying indoors during rush hour. Using Pond’s Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam frees your skin from dirt and pollution particles with the help of activated carbon, lightening dark spots on your face and giving you a brighter, clearer complexion.

Dark spots The sun is not the only cause


2. Perfume and Sunshine: a Recipe for Black Spots on the Skin

Although perfumes may seem an unlikely culprit, they can be an indirect cause of dark spots. Many perfumes contain photosensitizers that make your skin sensitive to the sun’s rays, leading to hyperpigmentation, or dark spots.

Bergamot oil in perfumes can make your skin sensitive to the sun’s rays.

This temporary skin condition, known as berlock dermatitis, develops when your skin is exposed to sunlight after coming into contact with perfume containing photosensitizers. The condition has been linked to bergamot oil, which, unfortunately, is used in one in three perfumes. To prevent this kind of black spot appearing on your skin, avoid perfumes containing bergamot oil and only apply perfume to areas of skin that are not exposed to sunlight.

3. Acne and Other Kinds of Skin Inflammation

Severe acne can result in scars and marks that lead to dark spots on your skin. This kind of dark spot is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and it occurs when the skin heals after an injury or trauma and leaves behind some discoloration.

4. Itching to Scratch? Don’t.

Scratching mosquito bites and pimples can cause scars and marks

Resist the urge to scratch or pop pimples and insect bites. Doing so can irritate your skin, triggering a defense mechanism that induces melanin production, which in turn leads to black spots on your skin. And yes, that means that you should do your best to avoid scratching that mosquito bite, tempting though it may be – it can also turn into a dark spot. Although these blemishes usually fade in about three months, when exposed to the sun without protection, the healing period could last up to two years.

5. Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormones are linked to a common type of hyperpigmentation called melasma, which leads to patches of brown to gray-brown discoloration, usually on the face. Pregnancy and hormonal drugs such as the contraceptive pill can contribute to these dark spots. Since sunshine can worsen any existing tendency to melasma, be sure to wear sunscreen and suitable sun protection. Products that irritate the skin can exacerbate the condition, so if you suffer from melasma, it’s best to use gentle products that are kind to skin.

Hormone imbalance leads to dark spots.

A better understanding of the different types and causes of dark spots that can appear on your face is the first step to avoiding them. But, of course, that’s only half the battle. Ready to discover the best ways to get rid of the dark spots already on your face? Read more to find our definitive list of home remedies and professional solutions for black spots on skin.