How to treat dark spots

How to effectively fade dark spots

Dark spots can be countered with a multi-active-strategy, daily-use programme of treatments.

Skin discolourations are areas of skin that are differently pigmented. The most common are darker than the surrounding area and are therefore defined as hyperpigmented discolourations or dark spots.

Dark spots are due to over-production of melanin, the pigment that gives the natural colour of skin (complexion), but which sometimes builds up unevenly in an area of skin.

Spots can be defined as LOCALISED (one or a few over a skin area), e.g. age spots, round / oval in shape, small in size and with well demarcated edges, and DARK PATCHES (several dark spots in clusters over a skin area, a patch) , e.g. melasma or mask of pregnancy, larger in size and with less demarcated edges.

Hyperpigmented discolourations are a growing beauty concern, which can cause uneasiness since they make skin appear uneven and dull.

How to treat dark spots?

The way dark spots are treated changes according to the type of dark spots, localised or widespread patches, and you must bear in mind that it takes time to be effective because result can be seen after skin has completed a normal skin renewal cycle, which is about 4 weeks. In addition, any treatment must be combined with adequate sun protection.

Sometimes, even dermatological aesthetic treatment aren’t able to fade dark spots completely, hence a more realistic objective is to achieve a significant reduction of the visibility of the spots and turn your complexion more even and brighter.

Reducing dark spots can be achieved by following a daily specific programme that combines a number of actions:

  • inhibit the production and distribution of melanin
  • stimulate cell renewal to eliminate the most superficial skin layers
  • effectively protect against UV rays

Keep in mind that any treatment programme targeting dark spots should be followed constantly for at least 4 weeks and must be combined with sun protection suitable for your skin type and time of the year: in fact, exposure to UV rays is the main trigger for dark spots.

Get rid of dark spots through a multi-active strategy

Natural skin colour is mainly given by melanin, a pigment made by specific cells - melanocytes - found in the basal layer of the epidermis.
The process that leads to skin pigmentation (melanogenesis) is very complex and involves the transformation of an amino acid, L-Tyrosine, into melanin and its subsequent distribution, in the form of small granules, from melanocytes to the surrounding epidermal cells in a horizontal direction.
This process ensures that melanin spreads evenly, giving you a complexion. When we stay in the sun, melanocytes are stimulated to "work" more intensely, thereby producing more melanin to protect skin and give a tan.
At times, for a number of reasons and through mechanisms still poorly understood, some melanocytes make too much melanin, which tends to spread vertically, instead of horizontally, and builds up in localised areas, thereby forming dark spots.
The complex melanogenesis process can be targeted with effective cosmetic formulations that use a set of different ingredients that work synergically.
In fact, it is important to combine several ingredients to counter the production and distribution of melanin and promote skin renewal.

An effective multi-active strategy must therefore work through a number of mechanisms to:

  • inhibit the formation of melanin: some substances, also of natural origin, such as Methyl gentisate, which is a Gentian root extract, work by countering the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme, which is involved in formation of melanin.
    • The most potent inhibitor known today is hydroquinone, which however has been banned by current cosmetic regulations in the European Union (EC Regulation no. 1223/2009) since it has been deemed not safe for use on skin;
  • inhibit the transfer of melanin into the epidermis: since dark spots are formed through the accumulation of melanin, ingredienti that hinder the transfer of melanin from melanocytes into the epidermis, e.g. a special Lipo -aminoacid (undecylenoyl phenylalanine) support the lightening effect of dark spot treatments;
  • stimulate skin renewal: by favouring the renewal of the outermost layers of skin with exfoliation, you achieve an instant lightening effect and skin looks fresher. Populare exfoliating active ingredients are: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and poly-hydroxy acids;
  • protect from UV radiation: any depigmentation treatment will be ineffective if not combined with proper sun protection. Whether it is to prevent dark spots from forming or existing ones from worsening, it is important that you regularly use a cream with sun protection, also in winter.

For further information on what dark spots are, please read our article: Dark spots: what they are, what causes them and how to treat them

A daily programme to treat dark spots

Your daily depigmentation programme should therefore include at least three steps:

  1. Use a cleanser with an exfoliating effect: removes cells on the skin surface, makes the skin more radiant and prepares for the treatments that follow;
  2. Apply a protective treatment in the morning: rebalances the production of melanin, preventing the formation of spots and the worsening of existing ones. Choose from a cream that includes either medium or very high sun protection factor depending on your skin type and the time of the year;
  3. Intensive treatment: should be different depending on the type of dark spots. Patches of dark spots (over larger skin areas) require a serum to even skin out, whereas localised dark spots require a product that can be applied on the single spot. Both treatments are recommended especially for evening use and must be followed with the application of a moisturising cream that replenishes skin.

While in the process of treating dark spots, the inconvenience caused by these blemishes can also be solved by covering them up with camouflage makeup: use the concealer to "optically" neutralise the colour of the blemish, then apply foundation for coverage and blend it with the surrounding skin.

If you wish further information on camouflage makeup, please read the article: What is camouflage makeup and how to apply it


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Ask a question to our experts

All BioNike products of the TRIDERM, DEFENCE and PROXERA ranges are developed to reduce the risks of intolerance and are suitable for sensitive skin. Such products are, in fact nickel-tested, preservatives-free, perfume-free (or having an allergen-free perfume), gluten-free and manufactured ​​with carefully selected and controlled ingredients.

In any case, we recommend that you consult your pharmacist and/or dermatologist, who will be able to recommend what is best for your skin.

Did you know it?

DEFENCE B-LUCENT is BioNike’s range for hyperpigmentation. It provides a programme of treatments to reduce the appearance ofdark spots, prevent the worsening of existing ones  and give skin a radiant, even tone.

DEFENCE B-LUCENT is based on a multi-active strategy:

  • inhibiting the production of melanin (Methyl Gentisate)
  • hampering distribution of melanin, thus build-up in certain skin areas (Lipo-amino acid)
  • stimulating cell turnover (Alpha- and Poly-hydroxy acids)

Un daily-use, three-step programme that includes:

1. cleansing skin while exfoliating it
2. a treatment to protect from UVA and UVB radiation
3. an intensive treatment that varies according to dark spot type. When dark spots are spread over skin (patches of dark spots), we recommend the skin-evening concentrate, while single or few spots are best treated with a product for single-spot, targeted application