DARK SPOTS 101
Survey: The Reality of Dark Spots
Worried about dark spots every time you look in a mirror? You’re not alone. Rohto Japan ran a survey on skincare concerns, and many participants felt the same way.
Q1. How concerned are you about your dark spots?
From the results we can see that most answered "Extremely Concerned" and "Somewhat Concerned", which means over 90% of participants have concerns over dark spots. As expected, dark spots are the enemy of all womankind.
Q2. How intense or dark is the pigmentation of your dark spots?
The pigmentation of dark spots varies from each individual, but many answered "Moderately Pigmented".
Q3. How large are your dark spots?
The size of dark spots varies from each individual, with answers ranging from "extremely small" to "larger than a 10 cent coin". More than half answered "around a grain of rice" and "around a pachinko ball".
HERE’S WHAT CAUSES DARK SPOTS!
You glance into the mirror and--oh no, a dark spot! And it’s getting larger by the day. There’s no sight more shocking for the average woman. But how did this all start? There are various causes for dark spots, including aging and hormone imbalance, but the main culprit is definitely UV rays!
UV Damage, Skin Damage and Dark Spots
When skin is exposed to UV rays, it activates pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. They start to produce black eumelanin, the root of dark spots and freckles. Normally, eumelanin leaves the body together with dead skin cells. But as your skin’s regeneration rate drops, it can remain in the skin.
Acne, bug bites, burns and the like can also cause skin inflammation, which activates melanocytes, which leads to more dark spots.
But not all hope is lost! To counter dark spots and freckles like these, we have a strong ally: Vitamin C.
Vitamin C vs. Dark Spots
If taken orally, Vitamin C will fade melanin pigment, and is also known to suppress melanin production as well (see the image). By also doubling up with Vitamin C from targeted skincare, you can prevent dark spots from occurring inside and out.
KEY POINTS FOR VITAMIN C SKINCARE
- Apply skincare on clean, fully-cleansed skin.
- For the best absorption, apply targeted care before bedtime.
- Apply skincare with the pads of your fingers and don't pull or stretch skin!
YOUR DAILY ANTI-DARK SPOT CARE
Now you’ve truly understood the horrors of UV rays, let’s look into adjusting some daily habits.
To scrub or not to scrub
Are you scrubbing too hard while washing your face? The basic idea is to gently spread a generous amount of foam onto skin and let it remove the dirt. If you overstimulate your skin it will kick off melanin production, which can cause dark spots. Even when drying your face, a clean towel should be used to gently dab off the water instead of rubbing.
You can also try a soak in the tub to boost your skin’s turnover rate! A 20-minute soak from the chest down in a bath of about 38~39°C will warm you right to the core, encourage your body to sweat and detoxify skin, and activate your skin’s natural regenerative process.
Anti-acne baths for beginners and experts
A half-body bath doesn’t just increase your metabolic rate, it also helps to relieve daily. stresses. Too much stress can leave you vulnerable to developing dark spots due to hormone imbalances. Make bath time more enjoyable by adding in your favourite scented bath products, or even by reading the occasional magazine.
For more advanced results, we recommend a salt bath. Just add a pinch of coarse salt or sea salt to the bathwater.
KEY POINTS FOR A SKIN-BOOSTING BATH
- Temperature - A warm 38~39°C
- Method - Only soak from the chest down
- Duration - Approximately 20 minutes to activate sweating
DEALING WITH THE BURN
Tanned skin is a sign of health and beauty...says nobody, nowadays. It’s now common sense that UV rays are extremely harmful.
Step 1: Treat the burn
A sudden sunburn should be treated as any other kind of burn. If your skin turns red and stings, apply a cold compress with a towel soaked in ice water. Repeat this step until your skin cools down and the redness subsides.
Step 2: Rehydrate
Sunburned skin is also prone to losing its natural oil and water content. Therefore it is important to rehydrate skin with intensely moisturising skin care.
Step 3: Treat dark spots and cover with makeup
If by any chance if you develop dark spots due to sunburn, while you take steps to deal with them you can also conceal them with the proper makeup techniques.
You don’t need thick makeup to hide your dark spots. Apply concealer only to areas of concern, and follow with a foundation with high moisturization and coverage.
Follow up by applying point makeup on either your eyes or lips to emphasise these features and draw attention away from spots. For example, those with spots under the eyes can use vibrant lip colours, while those concerned with the mouth or jaw can focus on eye makeup. This simple tweak is easy to learn and practice.
If you get a sudden sunburn:
- Sudden sunburn is equivalent to a burn! Remember to take proper aftercare immediately.
- Apply highly moisturizing skincare on sunburnt skin
- Ensure you have plenty of sleep and apply facial masks to rest your skin