In the quest to achieve perfect and youthful-looking skin, one of the most important factors to consider is the reduction of dark spots. Evening out the skin tone renders foundation and other makeup unnecessary and gives you a good foundation of healthy skin to boost your confidence. Sun exposure, fluctuating hormone levels, and aging are just some of the factors that cause dark spots. Fortunately, there are treatments and regimens approved by dermatologists to achieve a brighter, more even skin tone. The following is a breakdown of the most recommended treatments and their cost range.
- Sunscreen for Prevention
Preventing skin damage from harmful UV light rays is a huge part of your battle against dark spots and other signs of aging. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Light rays from the sun increase melanin production which results in more visible dark spots. Dermatologists insist that you need broad spectrum waterproof sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays, no matter what skin type you have. Sunscreen is also incredibly inexpensive, ranging from $15 up to $45.
- Vitamin C for Immunity
Vitamin C isn’t just good for that seasonal stuffy nose and sore throat going around. It is a natural
anti-oxidant which protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals in the body. Free radicals are oxygenated molecules that break down healthy proteins in the body such as collagen and elastin. Vitamin C prevents those molecules from attaching to those proteins. It can be applied topically on the skin as well as ingested. Not only does it protect you against these free radicals, but it also helps to stop melanin production which will result in fewer dark spots and brighter skin. Vitamin C serums and creams are available in a wide range of prices, from as little as $20 up to $80.
- Hydroquinone for Lightening
Hydroquinone is a well-known and FDA-approved substance found in many quality skin lightening creams. It works by controlling tyrosinase, an enzyme in the body that produces melanin. You could see visible lightening on your skin in about 8-12 weeks with topical hydroquinone, but some have seen results in as little as 2 weeks. Using sunscreen in combination with these creams is the best way to protect your skin as you are lightening dark spots and evening its tone. Creams and serums containing this ingredient can range from $15 all the way up to $100.
- Kojic Acid for Lightening
If you are looking for another ingredient that inhibits tyrosinase, look no further than kojic acid. This acid comes from a mushroom and is used as a natural food preservative. More recently it is being used in skin products to treat hyperpigmentation and the appearance of skin blemishes and dark spots. Just as with hydroquinone, it is important that you use sunscreen for extra protection while using kojic acid. These two ingredients can cause your skin to become extra sensitive to sunlight and you don’t want UV rays undoing all your progress. Most Kojic Acid products range from $25 to $52.
- Laser Treatments for Problem Areas
Some dermatologists recommend laser treatments for hyperpigmentation and problematic dark spots. This is one of the most expensive lightening options but it is also one of the most fast-acting. A certified dermatologist uses lasers to break up the melanin and pigmentation on your skin. There are even some cooled lasers that significantly reduce the chances of skin irritation and burning. Laser treatments can be costly even on the low end. The average falls between $275 to $2550.
- Chemical Peels for Balancing
Chemical peels may sound scary but most of the chemicals are natural ingredients that are safe for your skin in small amounts. The ingredients work to remove dead skin from the surface and stimulate collagen production which can instantly reduce signs of aging. Deeper peels will also lighten dark spots over time. It is important to consult with a dermatologist to properly space out chemical peel treatments, so you don’t accidentally irritate your skin or over-lighten an area. Chemical peels must be done by professionals and can sometimes be pricey. The average cost is between $108 and $1000.
- Microdermabrasion for Evening
Microdermabrasion is a fancy word for using small, rough particles to scrub away dead skin. The ingredients and particles do not damage your skin tissue, they only get rid of the layers that are already dead and getting in the way of a healthy glow. Microdermabrasion is used to treat hyperpigmentation, shallow cysts and other skin flaws by licensed dermatologists. There are even some over-the-counter methods available, though they won’t be as strong as the professional brands. These treatments land in the middle-range of cost, starting around $120 and going upwards of $650.