Cliff is an online marketer and freelance writer. He is passionate about health, sports, and travel.
Ways to Fade and Remove Dark Spots on Your Skin
As you age, you may notice 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 the dark spots that begin to appear on your skin.
Fortunately, there are home remedies, topical products, and cosmetic procedures that can effectively fade or permanently remove dark spots. Below, I am sharing with you the most common treatments.
How to Get Rid of Dark Spots
|Product||How It Works|
The acidity acts like a bleaching agent and helps reduce discoloration.
Contains vitamins A, C, and, E, which help to reduce brown spots and even out skin tone.
Yogurt or Buttermilk
Both contain high amounts of lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates the skin.
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.
Bleaching agent that helps remove liver spots.
Potent form of vitamin A that encourages rapid cell-turnover. It works by shedding the outer layer of skin and encouraging cell regeneration. It also curbs the production of melanin.
Lightens age spots by softening the skin, thereby helping it peel.
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%.
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy
These medical procedures physically remove any pigmentation imperfections on your skin's outer epidermis.
Dark Spots on the Face: What Are They Called?
Most likely, the dark spots on your face are what dermatologists call age spots, also known as sunspots, liver spots, and solar lentigines. According to the Mayo Clinic, "age spots are small, flat dark areas on the skin. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms."
4 Natural Remedies to Remove Dark Spots
Let's begin by looking at four natural remedies you can use to lighten or fade dark spots on the skin.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice's acidity acts like a bleaching agent and helps reduce discoloration on your face. 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. 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. 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.
3. Yogurt or Buttermilk
Both yogurt and buttermilk contain high amounts of lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates the skin. You can apply either of these dairy products directly onto your skin like a mask and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
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 cells.
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.
5 Topical Products to Reduce Dark Spots on Your Skin
Natural remedies are wonderful, but they may take more time to begin working and they may also fail to achieve the degree of lightening you were hoping for. That's where the following products may come into play.
There are many 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.
This is a potent lab-created 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.
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.
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 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.
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: Promote skin regeneration by removing the top layer of the skin.
- Microdermabrasion: Like a chemical peel, microdermabrasion works to 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 in 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. Your goal should be to avoid the sun—and that means suntans, too! Tanning beds use bulbs that emit harmful UV rays.
- 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.
- Wear protective gear 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. Whether it's a tree, awning, sun umbrella, or another form of shade, it's your friend in the mission to minimize sun exposure.
What Causes Dark Spots on Face?
Now that we've covered nine different products that can help you get rid of those age spots on your face, let's take a step back and talk about what causes them in the first place. If you've been reading closely, you already have a pretty good idea about the first one on this list.
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.
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 to the skin through picking or popping pimples.
Sources and Further Reading
- How to Remove Dark Patches and Spots From Your Face | Bellatory
Many adults suffer from dark patches on their face, forehead, and cheeks. Read on to find out some fantastic ways to prevent and get rid of these unsightly blemishes on your skin.
- What Is Glycolic Acid and How Should I Use It? | LiveAbout
You may have heard that glycolic acid can help your skin, but just what is it and how is it used? This article will answer all your questions.
- Melasma: Diagnosis and Treatment | American Academy of Dermatology
Learn about how dermatologists diagnose and treat melasma.
- How Do You Get Rid of Brown Spots on the Skin? | Dr. Cynthia Bailey Skincare
Skincare products that stop the overproduction of melanin and encourage skin to shed excess melanin are the best way to fight dark spots.
- Best Home Remedies to Remove Dark Spots | My Health Tips
There are simple treatments that you can try at home naturally in order to reduce dark spots.
- Dark Spots: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment | VeryWell Health
Dark spots on the skin commonly appear in middle age as a result of past sun exposure. Here's what you can do to diminish their appearance.
- Beauty 411: Retin-A vs. Retinol | Radiance by WebMD
Confused about these two retinoids? Our expert explains the difference.
- Retinoids for Wrinkles, Anti-Aging, Brown Spots | Radiance by WebMD
WebMD discusses the anti-aging properties of retinoids and the benefits they have for aging skin.
- Why Apple Cider Vinegar Is Good For Your Skin | Elite Daily
Vinegar is not the first thing you think of when you say skincare, but this underrated household product actually has amazing benefits for your skin.
- Can You Reduce Age Spots With Yogurt? | Our Everyday Life
Although laser treatments are generally considered the most effective way to reduce age spots, many DIY-ers have used yogurt as a home remedy. As a spot treatment and a diet staple, it has some anti-aging benefits worth noting.
- Using Aloe Vera has multiple benefits | Baylor College of Medicine
Aloe Vera gel is typically used when you get a little too much sun and need some relief. However, an expert at Baylor College of Medicine says Aloe Vera has multiple benefits for your skin.
- 13 Dark Spot Remedies You Can Find In Your Kitchen | Mind Body Green
Whether left behind from acne or brought on by age or from sun exposure, stubborn dark spots are annoying. Here, how to treat them at home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Cliff Mendrez
Nickel on July 12, 2020:
How long must you put apple cider vinegar on your face and i have been with black spots for two years and i hate it so much plz help me
SLOANY EZE on July 02, 2020:
Can ginger, garlic & lemon helps to smooth the skin, if yes, how, I need an answer
Alison on June 17, 2020:
I have been small sized acnes with alot of dark spots on my face & chest for more than 6 years.. I try many things but i can't remove... Pls help me
precious on May 06, 2020:
I have pimples leaving dark spots on my face, someone please help me out, I have been in this for the past two months, help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.................
Stella on January 26, 2020:
i have been with black spot since 8year on my face i have try many thing but no way
Olivier on December 31, 2019:
I have been with black spot for 4 year now, pls help me, what i need for my face
Magret musa on November 24, 2019:
i have black spot on my face so wat will i do
Jane on October 24, 2019:
I have been battling with dark spots on my face for more than 2yrs. Pls help me out
Meriam Modibedi on October 23, 2019:
I have dark sport what can i use
Lorraine on September 12, 2019:
I have dry skin and dark spots at my face how can i get rid of it,but my skin is sensitive can not use anything
Lil on September 10, 2019:
i have darkspots and oily skin.... generally i hate myself. pliz help me
Balikis on September 06, 2019:
Pls wat can i use for darkspot for a sensetive face within a wk
Jeremiah on August 30, 2019:
I have this one black spot on my face and it won’t go away and u give me some tips
Ann Auld on August 30, 2019:
Have some dark spots on my face would like to get tips to remove them using natural products.
S ROY on August 27, 2019:
just like that picture on your display a spot on my skin just one not get rid of.did aspirin and lemon many days.but its not gone.please tell any essential oil i can use for it?
yvonne thandiwe on August 25, 2019:
i have alot of darkspots on my face and i want them off.....plz help me
xolile on August 19, 2019:
I have dark spot all over my face and pimpiles I'm a laugh stock at school please help me on how to get RIDE of them
Amanda on August 19, 2019:
I have Black Sport All over my Body .how can I use to Ride then?
How Many days it Take
Amanda on August 19, 2019:
I have Black Sport All over my Body .how can I use to Ride then?
Ankit mishra on August 12, 2019:
I have Many dark spots on My face..Can u help me ....how can I remove black spots on my face..pls halp
Tabrej alam on July 21, 2019:
How many day should lemon show the effect on face .how many days should use lemon
Haripriya on June 20, 2019:
I get irritated seeing my face bcoz of my oily skin and dark spots on my face
Rosa saldivar on June 11, 2019:
Annon..... times are tough with the loss of a parent but to lose two is devastating. You need to be strong, pray often and seek help from church or friends. Suicide is not the answer. Please ask for help.
Hadiza on June 09, 2019:
Hjj on May 18, 2019:
Anon please seek help from someone, u had a traumatic experience losing your parents but there are people who can help u get through this..please speak to someone online or those around you much luv
Charlotte on May 16, 2019:
I have dark sport on my face and pimples with small rushes I want to stop that please help m
Annon on May 14, 2019:
since the loss of both my parents, my body went into shock and whole metabolizmn #died##.i never sufferd with my weight and i cannot stop the gain ... on top of this, i have now getting one large age spot on my nose which i never had.i avoided the sun for the last 10yrs so i tried with aloe vera but then i thought 'why should i care what i look like now that i have no one. so the best thing for me to do is go join my parents.. i gave up my independance being greek , to look, after them so really i want to go and be with the loving parentswho i miss terribly. .
hana on May 13, 2019:
My face dark psots my face in danage in dark spots plz help me
Shejay on May 05, 2019:
I have pimples on my face and also black spots ,i want to stop that, can someone please help me..also i have an oily skin
Rosalyn sanglay on May 05, 2019:
I have dark spot on my face how to get rid I tried lemon aloe Vera but ain't won't work
Njengabo on May 04, 2019:
My face have full of dark spots i want to removed so pleased help me
Jenniferlunghar506@gmail.com on April 27, 2019:
My face look so dull cz of acne scar and i using many cosmetic products no reactions so what should i do please help ..
And I'm a oily skin and combination ....
I hate myself ..
Judith on April 16, 2019:
Rahul kopnar on April 12, 2019:
I have dark spots so what I have to do for removing
Jessica Lewis2 on April 12, 2019:
I thought I'd never get rid of the dark spots on my skin, but against all odds I whitened and evened out my skin tone naturally without dangerous creams by using this natural remedy I found HERE: go2l.ink/clearskin
princess anita on March 30, 2019:
pls I need cream for dark sport and face cream that will Brit ting my face
vee on March 30, 2019:
l have dark spots on my back what should l do
Lillian on March 09, 2019:
I've dark spots on my face I've tried aloe Vera gel but it's not working
ishioma on February 23, 2019:
that's a nice one thanks
Dripti on February 17, 2019:
do these actually work?
phelokazi on February 16, 2019:
anyone who can help me ...what should i use to remove spots on my face including my whole body
Priya Pråemlåll on February 07, 2019:
Hey i dose use the lemon juice but aint won't work
Hayu on February 05, 2019:
Hi I have pimples and dark spot on my face how I remove it? Please ma friend she advices me to used beking soda with colget is that’s work?
Lin Wong on February 02, 2019:
I had dark spots on my face..I had some lasered off by a Dermatologist.. The remaining spots I used raw shea butter 100
rugal on January 30, 2019:
I've pimples on my face and it cause darkspot ,please what can i do to make it clear any smooth
joy on January 29, 2019:
Aloe vera gel is working very fast...for me it's the best.
lili on January 22, 2019:
how to get rid of dark sports on my face pl help
Lydia on January 21, 2019:
plz I have so many stretch marks and drak spot on my body what I can use to remove it
The heaven beauty on January 20, 2019:
Great and helpful article. I love to read your article and thank you so much for such a helpful article. I hope it really works for all.
The heaven beauty on January 20, 2019:
Great and helpful article. I love to read your article. Thank you so much for such a helpful article.
Joy on January 19, 2019:
I've pimples on my face and it cause darkspot ,please what can i do to make it clear any smooth
Esho omolola on January 16, 2019:
I hv pimples in my face it now cos darkspot wat can i use
Sheenam on December 30, 2018:
I have darksports on my face i have tried many products but result is zero ,what can i use for this problm
Janice Tan on November 29, 2018:
How to remove mosquito bites spots on face i try aloe vera but it doesn’t works
Lindokuhle on November 19, 2018:
What can I buy to remove dark spotted to my body that caused by hiv please help.
jojo on October 13, 2018:
I've tried lemon juice and its working.just take a cotton wool or bud and use it to apply on the affected area.wait for a few minutes until dry
Then wash with clean water
Albertina on October 06, 2018:
I have dark sports on my face which i am ashamed of myself and i cant face my friends.
talya on September 13, 2018:
Have got so many dark spot in my body. And stretch marks too what can I use to get rid of them
crissy on September 13, 2018:
Clarissa Conklin on August 28, 2018:
I suffer from very large brown spots on both cheeks. It was embarrassing and lowered my self-esteem. It took too much makeup to cover up without looking cakey. I received dermalmd on Tuesday and today (Sunday) the spots have reduced by 50%. I wish I took a before picture but I had no idea dermalmd serum would actually work. I have tried everything and was about to look into laser treatment. This works and very reasonably priced.
Malaveka Singh on August 22, 2018:
Melasma on my face
rekha on August 10, 2018:
i have more black spots on my skin is there any tablates to reduce that
Haokip on August 07, 2018:
some people say that dark lining in the face is due to stomach problems and some other people say that it is because of sun heat on so i want to know the real reason and best treatment for this
sibo on July 21, 2018:
I also have bad dark spots, this is not good because it even creates depression, I even hate myself
Jonalyn Co on July 20, 2018:
I have very bad dark spot on my face im so shame about it i try all lemon for 1month apple cedar vinegar but make me more dark spot i look monster now please help me what should i do about it
Muzamil Khan on June 25, 2018:
Thanks for giving me useful tips
Nonjabulo on June 13, 2018:
I have bad marks on my face I have tried Protex Deep Clean but I don't see any result what must I buy???
Debra on June 12, 2018:
I have very bad dark spots on face. I am suffering with face shaming image everyday ☹️ I can't look at the mirror anymore. Can someone please help me with dark spots on face? Thank you for your understanding! Debra Scott
Amelia C. on June 03, 2018:
I personalky love using the even tone serum of Dermalmd. Its not harsh on my skin and ive been able to correct a few spots on my face
natasha on May 25, 2018:
I have black spots on my face Wat to do
Hassan ali on May 20, 2018:
I bleach my face after 2 years then my face were very blacked like my face were burned
Then from my face was lightly remove the burning black areas
Again begin my face was like burn skin dark skin
I can use much beauty creams but These creams not clear my face
So plzz tell the treatment
Patel on May 19, 2018:
I have dark spots on my full face how to remove it plz help me
daniel abrahaly on May 09, 2018:
is lomen and a bit water is enough to remove dark skin on my face?
Nina on May 06, 2018:
I have very dark spots on my cheek area of my face . Some say it’s due to poor circulation. They are very embarrassing spots looks like a big burise on my cheeks ,. How do I get rib of them ? I’m a light skin black woman
hopeful on May 04, 2018:
I have dark spots around my upper lip, forehead and above my eybrow, what is the best remedy
faith on April 24, 2018:
I have dark spots on my face I have tried aloe vera, lemon juice but is tin there
Geetha on March 20, 2018:
I have dark spots on my face I tried all home remedies but no use please suggest
Mica on March 09, 2018:
Thank you for the tips I will try them
deeksha on January 21, 2018:
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.
Cara on December 08, 2017:
Lemon n yoghurt and honey and mix together and apply on the face for one hour than take off with warm water
GEE on September 24, 2017:
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
Joseph on September 23, 2017:
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.!
lesedi on September 15, 2017:
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
Valencia on September 13, 2017:
I've got black spots on my face so I want to get rid of them.
lilly zulu on August 21, 2017:
I have dark sport but have tried alot to get rid of them but it doesnt work what do i do now
Bonnie Johnson on August 18, 2017:
Dead cell dark spot use all kind proudest on my face not help me at all
Paul on August 13, 2017:
I have got lot of black spots on my back, any suggestions please.
Tamim Sharifa on August 11, 2017:
please i have dark spots on my face... I need a remedy
Carly on July 23, 2017:
I have loads of spots just want to get ride of them
Rohit JATT on May 26, 2017:
I have try this and it is usefull thankx jai jatt
Nicole on April 25, 2017:
I have dark spots in my face from pregnancy how do I get rid of them
JeanWilliams on February 28, 2017:
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.
arun on February 24, 2017:
I got a big heat ball on my face!!how to get rid of it??
Cliff Mendrez (author) from Philippines on February 07, 2017:
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.
Kevin on February 06, 2017:
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?
loveofjustin on February 05, 2017:
Very good ill try
Cliff Mendrez (author) from Philippines on January 31, 2017:
Hello, AMMULU !
What remedies have you tried? And for how long? I highly recommend trying the lemon juice trick and staying consistent with it.
AMMULU on January 31, 2017:
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
shepard on November 28, 2016:
I have lot of pimple on my face....so i just tried to use apple cider vinegar....it's works
CorneliaBuresch on November 11, 2016:
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.