By Sarah O'Malley

personal blog about education, health, psychology, sport and home

Preventing Dark Spots

Daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, rated SPF 25 or greater is the number one way to prevent brown spots from forming and hold onto the improvements you see from skin-lightening treatments. At Paula's Choice, we're particularly keen on mineral-based sunscreens (titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as the active ingredients) for fading discolorations. Why? We believe their reflective quality, which is what protects the skin from UV rays, gives them an edge in helping to prevent or treat uneven skin tone and wrinkles at the same time.

For oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin try Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 which provides a sheer tint of color + mineral SPF to ward off sun damage and brown spots.

For normal, dry, or very dry skin consider Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25. The ultra-creamy, slightly luminous formula, stops brown spots in their tracks + it's loaded with antioxidants to boost its anti-aging benefits.

For your hands and decolletage, check out our Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50, which absorbs quickly into skin so you can go about your day-no slick, creamy residue left behind.

If mineral-based sunscreens aren't your fave, there are plenty of non-mineral broad-spectrum SPF options that can also help keep brown spots at bay. See our full collection of Paula's Choice Sun Protection for alternative options.

Top Ingredients to Fade Dark Spots & Get Glowing Skin

Today, we know even more about the ingredients proven to be effective for fading discolorations and achieving a brighter complexion-the result of which is more exciting treatment options than ever before. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any easier for consumers who are left to sort through the parade of the options that rely on gimmicky, unproven, and sometimes even irritating ingredients that your skin doesn't need.

Backed by independent, published research, the superstar ingredients highlighted below are considered among the most effective for improving the appearance of dark spots + signs of aging. When used together they can produce faster and more dramatic results!

Hydroquinone + AHA or BHA

Whether your dark spots are caused by sun damaged or hormones fluctuations, hydroquinone slows this excess melanin production, helping to even these discolored areas out over time. To speed up its results, look for formulas that pair hydroquinone with BHA (salicylic acid) or AHA (glycolic acid) exfoliants, which helps fade dark spots faster by accelerating cell turnover and revealing radiant skin-it's a multi-action, dark-spot removing power couple!

For oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin try Resist Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA Gel.

For normal or dry skin, consider Resist Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion.

Niacinamide + Acetyl Glucosamine

Dealing with multiple types of discolorations? Target brown spots and red marks left over from a breakout with the potent melanin-inhibitor and skin-brightening duo of niacinamide + acetyl glucosamine. When combined, they interrupt excess pigment formation to help fade the discolorations you see now, as well as those you have on the way!

All skin types can benefit from Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment's specialized blend of niacinamide, acetyl glucosamine, and potent antioxidants. More to love, this silky, sheer lotion imparts a subtle luminous sheen to give skin an overall youthful glow.

Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C

High concentrations of ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), have been proven to significantly improve brown spots and other sun-induced discolorations. Research has shown that combining vitamin C with other skin-lighteners produces powerful results when the goal is achieving a brighter, even skin tone.

For an all over skin-brightening treatment, add a few drops of Resist C15 Super Booster to your favorite serum or moisturizer. It contains 15% ascorbic acid in a fluid peptide + antioxidant blend for dramatically brighter, firmer and healthier skin.

To target stubborn brown spots dab Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment over discolorations-at this potent strength, you will almost be able to watch your dark spots fade. Bonus: It can also speed up the fading process for post acne hyperpigmentation (those red or brown marks leftover after a breakout)!

Still not sure which product to use? Contact our Customer Care Team who can help guide you to the best option for your skin!

And remember: If you aren't using sunscreen 365 days a year, you aren't going to be able to maintain an even skin tone no matter what other lengths you go to, so sun protection is a must!