How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on Your Face With 9 Easy Tips

Updated on July 15, 2017

Ways to Fade and Remove Dark Spots on Your Skin

As you age, you realize that wrinkles can make you look much older than you really are. But there are other culprits that can add years to your appearance. One of these is getting dark spots on your skin.

Fortunately, there are home remedies, topical products, and cosmetic procedures that could effectively fade or permanently remove dark spots. Below, I am sharing with you the most common treatments.

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots

1. Lemon Juice
The acidity acts like a bleaching agent and helps reduce discoloration.
2. Aloe Vera
Contains vitamins A, C, and, E, which help to reduce brown spots and even out skin tone.
3. Yogurt or Buttermilk
They both contain high amounts of lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates the skin.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Contains alpha hydroxy acid, which gets rid of dead skin cells. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, helping to brighten and heal the skin.
5. Hydroquinone
A bleaching agent that helps remove liver spots.
6. Reitnoid
A potent form of vitamin A that encourages rapid cell-turnover. It works by shedding the outer layer of skin and encouraging cell regerneration. It also curbs the production of melanin.
7. Salicylic Acid
Lightens age spots by softening the skin, thereby helping it peel.
8. Glycolic Acid
An AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) derived from sugar. It sloughs off dead skin to promote the growth of new skin cells. Use a formula that contains at least 10%.
9. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy
These medical procedures physically remove any pigmentation imperfections on your skin's outer epidermis.

Natural Remedies to Remove Dark Spots

1. Apply Lemon Juice

Lemon juice's acidity acts like a bleaching agent and helps reduce discoloration on your face.1 Use a cotton ball or Q-tip to apply the juice onto your liver spots twice a day. It is a good idea to test this first on a small area of your face to see how your skin will react to the lemon juice. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend diluting the juice with a bit of water.

2. Use Aloe Vera Gel

The gel of the aloe vera plant is chock-full of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and, E, which help to reduce brown spots and even out skin tone.2 Vitamin A speeds up your skin's natural shedding process, vitamin C brightens your complexion, and vitamin E renews the epidermis. Aloe works especially well if you have dark spots caused by sun exposure because the plant has been used for thousands of years to relieve sunburns.

You can buy 100% aloe vera gel at a health food store, but using gel directly from the plant is preferable. To do this, cut off a piece of an aloe vera leaf and split it in half. Carve out the jelly-like flesh and apply this directly onto your skin.

Aloe Vera gel can be used to treat liver spots.
Aloe Vera gel can be used to treat liver spots.

3. Yogurt or Buttermilk

These diary products contain high amounts of lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates the skin. You can apply yogurt or buttermilk directly onto your skin like a mask and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off.3

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Rich in antioxidants and minerals, apple cider vinegar is a popular home product used for treating all sorts of ailments. Those with scarring and pigmentation swear by this simple remedy because the alpha hydroxy acid gets rid of dead skin cell.4

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. You can apply this over your entire face because it is pH balanced, so it acts as a toner. However, if you detest the smell, let the solution sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Topical Products That Reduce Dark Spots on Your Skin

1. Hydroquinone

There are a lot of topical treatments on the market that promise to get rid of dark spots. Choose one that contains hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that helps remove age spots and is safe to use on the skin. You can also use one that contains kojic acid, which has bleaching properties as well.

2. Retinoid

This is a potent manmade form of vitamin A, and it works by encouraging rapid cell-turnover. When old skin cells die, they make way for new skin growth. The idea is to shed the layer of skin with the dark spots so that new, unblemished skin can grow in its place. Retinoid also curbs the production of melanin (the pigment your skin produces that creates dark spots).

If you purchase over-the-counter treatments, the ingredient you will find is called "retinol," which is a vitamin A that naturally occurs in the skin. This form of vitamin A is not as potent as retinoid.5

Retinoids are prescription-only and fall under these three names:

  • Tretinoin, including the brands Atralin, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, and Renova
  • Tazarotene, such as the brand Tazorac
  • Adapalene, such as the brand Differin

These products are 100 times more potent than the retinol found over the counter.6

Retin-A treatment for dark spots
Retin-A treatment for dark spots

3. Salicylic Acid

You may have heard of salicylic acid being used to treat acne, but it can also be used to lighten dark spots. Salicylic acid works by causing the outermost layer of the skin to soften and then peel. This helps remove dead skin cells and allows new cells to surface.

4. Glycolic Acid

This is a an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) derived from sugar and works as a natural exfoliator, sloughing off dead skin to promote the growth of new skin cells. Dermatologists suggest using a product with at least 10% glycolic acid in order to see results.7

Glycolic acid
Glycolic acid

5. Medical Treatments

If you have the money and you want fast results, you can opt for medical treatments. Common treatments for dark spots include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy. Chemical peel and microdermabrasion promote skin regeneration by removing the top layer of the skin. Laser therapy involves the use of different types of lasers that reduce accumulated melanin on a certain area. It is best to consult your doctor and ask about which treatment is best for your skin type.

How to Prevent Dark Spots on Your Face

Sun damage is the primary cause of dark spots, so be sure to protect yourself from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

  • Steer clear of tanning beds.
  • Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If you are using vitamin A or a product that exfoliates, your skin will be even more sensitive to the sun, so cover your face as much as possible.
  • Make sure to wear protective gears and clothing that minimize sun contact as much as possible. Hats and sunglasses are great accessories to help shield your face from the sun.
  • Seek shade whenever possible.

Prevent sun spots by wearing a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Prevent sun spots by wearing a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

What Causes Dark Spots on Face?

1. Sun Damage (Solar Lentigos)

The leading cause of dark spots, liver spots, and/or freckles is sun damage. Overexposure to UVA/UVB rays, either directly from the sun or through the use of tanning beds, breaks down collagen and causes your skin to produce excess melanin, which leads to discoloration or hyperpigmentation. The damage may not be evident right away, especially if you are young, but you will see the effects of sun damage more prominently when you hit your 40s.

2. Melasma

Women are more likely to suffer from this condition. It is characterized by brown to gray-brown patches that appear on the skin. It is usually caused by sun damage but can also appear during pregnancy.

3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (Acne Scarring)

Acne sufferers often develop dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by injury of the skin through picking or popping pimples.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Cliff Mendrez


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      • profile image

        Geetha 4 weeks ago

        I have dark spots on my face I tried all home remedies but no use please suggest

      • profile image

        Mica 6 weeks ago

        Thank you for the tips I will try them

      • profile image

        deeksha 3 months ago

        I used honey ,applied it on my face and washed it after 30 minutes . now my face has no dark spots and I feel fresh.

      • profile image

        Cara 4 months ago

        Lemon n yoghurt and honey and mix together and apply on the face for one hour than take off with warm water

      • profile image

        GEE 6 months ago

        Hello, i have been having breakouts on my chin and jaws areas and its leaving marks which look ugly.What can i do to get rid of them and also to lighten the marks. I have a wedding to attend in Oct and this look is worrying me more

      • profile image

        Joseph 7 months ago

        i have dark spot on my face both sides. i got this a year and its getting bigger. i work everyday under the heat of the sun. what should i do and what remedies is best for me. please help me. God bless.!

      • profile image

        lesedi 7 months ago

        i am 33 years old I have lots of dark sports on my face and I have tried so many products but still doesn't work please help me to remove the dark sports on my face

      • profile image

        Valencia 7 months ago

        I've got black spots on my face so I want to get rid of them.

      • profile image

        lilly zulu 8 months ago

        I have dark sport but have tried alot to get rid of them but it doesnt work what do i do now

      • profile image

        Bonnie Johnson 8 months ago

        Dead cell dark spot use all kind proudest on my face not help me at all

      • profile image

        Paul 8 months ago

        I have got lot of black spots on my back, any suggestions please.

      • profile image

        Tamim Sharifa 8 months ago

        please i have dark spots on my face... I need a remedy

      • profile image

        Carly 9 months ago

        I have loads of spots just want to get ride of them

      • profile image

        Rohit JATT 11 months ago

        I have try this and it is usefull thankx jai jatt

      • profile image

        Nicole 12 months ago

        I have dark spots in my face from pregnancy how do I get rid of them

      • profile image

        JeanWilliams 13 months ago

        I have some age spots/sun spots on my face. I've tried everything to remove them and Dermalmd Lightening Serum actually lightens them. I've only used it for a few weeks now but I am seeing results. They are lighter. Remember to apply the serum to only the spots as the skin around them will lighten too making them never seem to fade. It is tricky to do this, but this serum actually works. I am pleased.

      • profile image

        arun 14 months ago

        I got a big heat ball on my face!!how to get rid of it??

      • Cliff Mendrez profile image

        Cliff Mendrez 14 months ago from Philippines

        Hi Kevin,

        Salicylic may work faster. Regardless of what remedy you choose, however, make sure you try it on a small area first to see how your skin reacts. Once the dark spots are gone, you can stop using your chosen remedy. But you should have a good skin care regimen to maintain the health of your skin.

      • profile image

        Kevin 14 months ago

        Which remedy will cure dark spots the fastest? Lemon juice? or Salicylic acid? Also, after I cured the dark spots do I need to continue using the remedies?

        Thank you.

      • profile image

        loveofjustin 14 months ago

        Very good ill try

      • Cliff Mendrez profile image

        Cliff Mendrez 14 months ago from Philippines

        Hello, AMMULU !

        What remedies have you tried? And for how long? I highly recommend trying the lemon juice trick and staying consistent with it.

      • profile image

        AMMULU 14 months ago

        iam 19 years old and i have reddish brown spots and patches on my face and i tried many remedies but no use please suggest one best home remedie to remove all as soon as possible

      • profile image

        shepard 16 months ago

        I have lot of pimple on my i just tried to use apple cider's works

      • profile image

        CorneliaBuresch 17 months ago

        I just started using the DermalMD Lightening Serum as I have a few dark spots on my face and am starting to get them on the backs of my hands. I start by washing my face with a gentle cleanser and then using a toner to close my pores. Then I apply the dermalmd lightening serum followed by sunscreen and then my moisturizer. On days that I work I will add light makeup and I am amazed that my face still looks fresh and non greasy at the end of my work day. I also use this at night. I still have the dark spots but my face has a healthier glow.

      • profile image

        Deborah Hopkins 18 months ago

        I have dark spots on my face cheeks and neck. What can I use to get rid of these dark spots?

      • profile image

        Ali 21 months ago

        I have darkspot dark spot in my face

      • profile image

        Joemel Cabangon 22 months ago

        I have dry skin and I think MommyRenu Even Tone Serum works especially well. My dark spots are mostly scarring left from pimples and acne scars. I wanted to try MommyRenu Even Tone Serum because I do not have a lot of acne but on my bare face it seems like because of the acne scars. I spot treat using this and I think it helps make them less visible.

      • profile image

        Sravanthi Reddy 23 months ago

        Thank you for the home remedies for dark spots . I am following potato, lemon juice and honey remedy is working out for me. All you have to do is make juice out of 3 to 4 potatoes and add a few drops of lemon juice along with honey and apply it on face. Wash it off after 30 minutes and I could see the results after using for a month.

        Source where I found the remedy :

      • profile image

        pillar 24 months ago

        Retinoids are a powerful form of vitamin A proven to speed up cell turnover - which you need to get rid of dark spots. It helps your complexion looks smoother and diminishes the appearance of fine lines. The most potent form I use is in the Lady Soma Renewal Serum - I buy it online. Anything stronger, you will need a prescription from your dermotologist - but anything stronger will make your skin flake. The Lady Soma Renewal Serum does not make my skin flake, and in about 3- weeks, I have way less dark spots.

      • profile image

        john korky 2 years ago

        need help i'm 40 but the dark spots on my face are unsightly,could you please recommend the best short remedy to remove the spots for good.thanks

      • profile image

        Neeti 3 years ago

        I have dark patches on my cheeks. Getting crazy need help...

      • profile image

        Sonia 3 years ago

        I like it

      • profile image

        mathu 4 years ago

        I have black dots and eye ringles and ringles