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What Causes Discoloration and What to do About it

What Causes Discoloration and What to do About it

Dark spots are unwanted and stubborn to get rid of. Often referred to as hyperpigmentation, discoloration occurs when more pigment is produced in certain spots on the body. All skin types and tones can experience hyperpigmentation, but it’s more common and easily produced for some. Darker skin tones, for example, are more prone to hyperpigmentation because their skin is already producing more melanin than other skin tones.


What causes discoloration?

Hyperpigmentation is caused by inflammation in the skin. Some of the most common causes of inflammation are:

  • Sun exposure
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Pregnancy
  • Acne
  • Burns or wounds


In response to inflammation, skin cells produce extra melanin (that’s the pigment that causes your skin to tan). Melanin acts as an umbrella over skin cells to protect the DNA inside from the source of the inflammation.


Some discoloration is more superficial than others. Dark spots left behind by breakouts or a topical burn may be easier to reduce the appearance of if addressed immediately.


But in cases of sun exposure or hormonal shifts, discoloration is happening below the surface of the skin before you even know its there. That’s why it can take years for dark spots to appear on the skin—pigmentation is produced in the deeper layers of the skin and take a while to surface through your skin’s natural cell turnover process. It’s also why these types of discoloration can be so hard to treat.


When to start treating discoloration

If you’re prone to dark spots, have acneic skin or spend a lot of time outside, using a brightening regimen throughout the year rich in antioxidants and regular use of broad spectrum SPF will help maintain an even skin tone. As the summer comes to an end, this is a great time to start incorporating more powerful brightening products that will help correct any damage done during pool and beach season.


How to reduce the appearance of dark spots

A consistent at-home skin care regimen paired with regular treatments will make drastic improvement in the appearance of dark spots. We love plant-based skincare products that deliver visible results without ingredients that cause irritation.


Let There Be Light™ Powerful Brightening Serum is a hydroquinone-free daily serum that evens skin tone. Formulated with alpha arbutin, one of the most advanced natural ingredients for inhibiting pigmentation, and rumex extract that reduces discoloration, this natural skincare product can be applied directly to areas of discoloration without causing irritation. 


For a safe, at-home treatment, try Brighten It™ 10% Lactic Acid Solution. This formula uses alpha hydroxy acids from milk to mildly exfoliate and improve skin tone and texture. The concentration of lactic acid will gently remove dark spots and discoloration for all skin types and colors.


Regular use of antioxidants and broad spectrum SPF will help prevent additional discoloration from forming by protecting the skin from environmental factors, such as sun exposure, from wreaking havoc on the skin. Shop ClarityRx’s full line of discoloration products to prevent and treat dark spots.

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