how dark spots are formed - melanin production skin image

What Causes Dark Spots?

Your skin contains a pigment called melanin, which is present whether your skin is dark or light. Melanin is a pigment produced by cells called melanocytes. However, when hyperpigmentation occurs, your skin generates too much melanin, which forms deposits, resulting in spots and patches that are darker in color than the surrounding skin. Although hyperpigmentation affects people of all skin tones, it is more common in people with darker skin. Here are three reasons why you can get dark spots on your skin:

UV (ultra-violet) rays

Sun damage is the leading cause of dark spots. Melanocytes, located in the bottom layer (stratum basale) of the epidermis, react to harmful UV rays by releasing melanin, which acts as a natural sunscreen. Melanin is beneficial because it will absorb and redistribute the energy from UV rays. However, too much sun exposure can cause an overproduction of melanin, resulting in dark patches of skin.

Excessive sun exposure not only causes sun spots, but also other dark marks referred to as age spots, or liver spots. These types of hyperpigmentation accumulate over the course of many years and will take time to fade with extra care treatments needed.

Aging can exacerbate the appearance of hyperpigmentation for two reasons. First, melanocytes decrease in number as we age, but will expand in size and pigment production. Second, aged skin has a thinner, paler, and more translucent appearance, enhancing the impression of dark spots.


One of the most common side effects of fluctuating hormone levels is melasma, or a change in pigmentation. Extra hormones enhance the formation of melanin and are commonly found during pregnancy, hormonal therapy, or even birth control adjustments. Dark patches on the nose, cheeks, jawline, forehead, and chin are common in pregnant women, forming a pattern known as "mask of pregnancy" or "chloasma." This sort of hyperpigmentation usually lasts until the pregnancy is over or the hormone levels have returned to normal.

The development of hormonal driven hyperpigmentation can be exacerbated by sun and heat exposure. If you have melasma and wish to relax in a sauna or do some hot yoga, you might want to reconsider your plans. A hot atmosphere can exacerbate hyperpigmentation by causing dark areas to expand and spread.


Dark spots can appear after skin inflammation or injury, particularly in those who have acne, eczema, allergic responses, or other skin conditions. This form of darkening is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and is the skin's normal response to inflammation. The skin becomes inflamed after a wound, and as it heals, the skin creates excess melanin, which darkens the skin.

Inflammation causes hyperpigmentation, which is most frequent following breakouts. A dark spot, ranging in color from pink to red, purple, brown, or black, is left behind as the inflamed skin heals from acne. The mark becomes larger and darker as the inflammation worsens. There's a reason why dermatologists advise against picking your pimples: doing so increases your chances of developing a dark spot.

How To Get Rid Of And Prevent Dark Spots?

It's just as crucial to protect your skin from future harm as it is to reduce existing hyperpigmentation. These are our top recommendations for preventing new dark spots on the skin.

How to prevent dark spots- gently exfoliate, shield from sun, avoid heat, use Bletilla Striata root extract (4x stronger than Vitamin C), and stop inflammation

Gently Exfoliate

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells sitting on your skin's surface. It can be done once to twice a week and is beneficial in breaking up the pigmented cells. It usually takes about four to six weeks to begin to see visible results. 

Shield Yourself From The Sun

Sun damage is one of the leading causes of dark spots. This means staying out of the sun, wearing a hat outdoors, and applying sunscreen liberally.

Avoid Heat

Melanin formation is triggered by a variety of factors other than UV rays. Heat sources can also encourage melanocytes to develop more pigment. To lessen the risk of new dark spots forming, avoid activities that expose you to a lot of heat and keep your skin cool.

Stop Inflammation

Because inflammation is a significant cause of hyperpigmentation, you should avoid any practices that hurt or aggravate your skin. Picking at pimples, as well as any other activity that irritates your skin, is a no-no.

Use Vitamin C Regularly 

Experts advise that daily use of skincare products that include topical antioxidants such as Vitamin C in their ingredients can help reduce the appearance of dark spots. Our Bletilla Striata Root Extract contains four times the amount of Vitamin C compared to other ascorbic acid products. This root's potent antioxidants and antimicrobial effects help to reduce hyperpigmentation by interfering with melanin production. Keeping a bottle of an antioxidant-rich product on hand is another essential step in preventing hyperpigmentation!

We're confident that after reading this guide on the whys and hows of hyperpigmentation, you will be able to even out your skin tone and treat any troublesome spots. Are you suffering from dark spots on your skin? Let us know! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!



October Moment Brightening Moisturizing Cream