Now that we are all grown up we must pay for the liberal tanning practices of our youth – who knew actions had consequences? And that atonement comes in the unpleasant form of dark spots, sun spots, (or if you want to feel really old) age spots; or maybe your parents just cursed you genetically with an uneven complexion – yet another unsolicited gift.
Lucky for us all there are plenty of solutions for those suffering from the bothersome condition that is so ominously referred to as… dark spots (que bad guy theme music).
First and foremost, the best cure for dark spots is to prevent them from happening in the first place, what a revolutionary concept! In most people, dark spots, sun spots and age spots are caused by skin damage directly resulting from overexposure to the harmful rays of our magnanimous sun.
So, the best thing we can do is treat DAILY with an SPF moisturizer, especially on our face. This will prevent those UV rays from frying our skin cells and creating temporary tan skin and permanent dark spots.
One of our favorite SPF facial moisturizers for men is the Brave Soldier Solar Shield SPF-28 – it has some great nourishing elements for your skin and a healthy SPF ingredient for that ever-important sun protection.
Unfortunately, if you are most men you didn’t hear the warnings and if you did, certainly did not reevaluate your habits because of this knowledge. Luckily, there are some solutions to your problem of pigmentation.
The first effort we suggest making is along the lines of a home remedy. We understand this sounds time consuming and maybe a little too “artsy” and involved for you; but trust us, these are all worth a try; and not at all time consuming.
Both red onion and lemon contains acids that have natural skin-lightening properties, this can even out skin tone by lightening more drastically the darkly pigmented spots on your skin and bringing them closer in tone to the surrounding skin. Even though this sounds very simplistic it works very well!
All you have to do is extract the juice from a fresh red onion or lemon (the darker the better) either through a juice press or blender. Then rub the juices on the affected area of your face and let this concoction sit there for about 15 minutes (pour yourself a nice whisky and meditate on the beauty of yoga pants), then rinse it off.
Because of the acidic properties of this treatment you need to be EXTRA careful about sun exposure and should moisturize immediately after treatment as well to prevent the skin from drying out. We recommend using this treatment every other day until your desired results are achieved.
Another at home remedy you can try is using Apple Cider Vinegar. Lately, a lot has come of the healthy benefits of ingesting this type of vinegar and so it’s not surprising this liquid elixir has beneficial properties for our outer layer as well. It works by actually increasing your skins natural shedding process and helping to even out skin tone.
Just apply a small amount of the Apple Cider Vinegar to the problem area and let it sit for only five minutes at the most (perhaps a quick shot of whisky this time, meditate at will) and rinse off. Just like any remedy, you will want to follow up with a moisturizing procedure and avoid unhealthy sun exposure.
Now if these solutions have not proven to be enough for your difficult dark spots, have no fear, there is a veritable village of dark spot correctors out there. While these are a bit more powerful than our suggested home solutions they are still skin-safe and will not damage your precious dermis.
What you do want to look out for in the ingredients section of any “skin lightening” or “tone correcting” treatment is mercury. While this element does have skin lightening properties it is a heavy metal and extremely toxic in larger doses – something you should avoid like the plague.
Our three favorite, store bought, dark spot correcting formulas are Burt’s Bees Brightening Dark Spot Corrector, MD Solar Sciences Evening Facial Repair Serum and Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. This is the holy triumvirate of dark spot annihilating potions and we are sure you will not be disappointed.
Brightening Dark Spot Corrector by Burt’s Bees
Unfortunately, we never did have the pleasure of meeting ole Burt, but we sure do love his products, and this one is no exception. It’s advertised to do three things: lighten dark spots, even skin tone and brighten skin and it does all three well. Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots in eight weeks (so give it a chance, and a little patience) this is a great combination skin brightener and dark spot reducer formulated with daisy flower extract (a well-known masculine agent, daisies are badass and you know it) to even your skin tone. No harmful chemicals found here (phthalate and paraben free), this Burt’s Bees product is also 99% all-natural.
Evening Facial Repair Serum by MD Solar Sciences
Formulated specifically to help “minimize hyperpigmentation” (which is doctor-shop-talk for ‘bye-bye dark spots’) this serum also has some great added benefits the other picks don’t have. The most notable of these is retinol which can help with dark spots but is principally an anti-aging component (which is what we are trying to achieve by ridding ourselves of the dark spots anyway), a great addition to any serum. Aloe Vera and chamomile extracts also round off the list of beneficial ingredients helping to calm and soothe skin that might be slightly irritated by you trying to stubbornly remove those pesky dark spots (our skin, like us, is very change averse).
Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution by Kiehl’s
This stuff works almost like magic (almost). Now, Kiehl’s says (and many people attest to this) that you can notice results after only two weeks – this is all well and good, and may even be true for you, but we suggest using this product for at least 12 weeks before expecting visible results. Remember, all good things are worth waiting for. Kiehl’s proprietary blend is infused with peony extract to increase the dark spot reducing potential of the formula, which is one of the most effective out there. This solution also includes white birch extract to heal and hydrate your skin while increasing collagen production which will make your skin appear younger as well. Another great choice for those looking to reduce the appearance of dark spots while taking advantage of anti-aging ingredients simultaneously.
Now, if you are one of those people with extra stubborn skin there are other clinical options out there for you to choose from. Doctors provide a wide array of laser treatments, surgeries and serums of their own to treat dark spots. But we do recommend trying these proposed solutions first, starting with the DIY remedies and working into the suggested serums – we think you will be pleasantly pleased with your results!