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Self-check: Why Do You Have Dark Spots?
Anne Mari Ronquillo
Published on

We live in a country where there is no shortage of skin lightening products. Everything from whitening to brightening can be purchased from supermarkets and sari-sari stores (even in the iamClaire. Shop!) alike. But before you rush for those magic whitening lotions and potions, it’s wise to know what exactly is causing those dreaded dark spots.

Is it just a tan line? A discolored blotch you can correct with a concealer? Or is it something more serious? Here, we find out what it could be…

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Blame the Hormones
Hormonal changes in the body can affect the production of melanin, which is the pigment that gives our skin its color. An overproduction of melanin leads to hyperpigmentation in some parts of the skin, which we see as dark patches. This condition, called melasma, is the reason pregnant women tend to experience skin discoloration in some body parts—their elevated levels of estrogen boost melanin production. This can also affect women who are on birth control.


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Sometimes, it’s more serious…
Thyroid issues also affect hormone levels, which could also cause melasma. Insulin-resistant diabetes, on the other hand, causes a type of hyperpigmentation on skin folds such as the nape, armpits, and even the forehead. If you experience this, it’s probably time to visit the doctor!

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Overexposure from Mr. Sun!
In sun-drenched countries like ours, it’s not only during the summer that we should break out the sunscreen. Sun damage manifests in dark spots, redness, wrinkles, and sunburn. Unless you are working the graveyard shift, your daily face products should contain SPF.

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Light Damage
Screen time is also fast becoming a harmful habit, especially to those of us who are attached to our gadgets. Blue light emissions from electronic screens, while not cancer-causing like the sun, can cause hyperpigmentation on skin with prolonged exposure.

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Age Spots
Age spots show up on the face, the back of the hands, forearms, the back, and other areas that are chronically exposed to the sun. These are common for people over 40, but may appear “earlier” in people who do not believe in the protective services of umbrellas or SPF. Age spots are flat and have the same texture as your skin. While harmless, they may cause emotional distress for some people.

Tip:

Gentle products like Japonesa Face and Body bar soap can nourish the skin and improve its overall health, which could only mean clearer and brighter skin. Ingredients like collagen and glutathione work on a cellular level, which reinforces the building blocks of your skin.

Any other tips on skincare you want to share? Tag us on Instagram @iamclaireph!