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Tell me if this sounds familiar: You glance at the mirror and find yet another weird dark spot has emerged on your face, chest or elsewhere. You have no idea how it happened; you weren’t in the sun.  And it wasn’t there yesterday!
Now, before you start screaming in utter frustration (and possibly alarm your spouse, roommate or dog), let's get the lowdown on these unwelcome – though typically harmless – dark spots. 
It's called hyperpigmentation, and these buggers are caused by many reasons:  damaging UV rays, genetics, acne scarring, and even some types of medications. And if that wasn't bad enough, hormonal havoc (think pregnancy or contraception), and normal aging can trigger dark spots or blotches on your skin, too.

So, what’s a beauty to do?

1. Be Sun Smart

Sunscreen is non-negotiable. Every. Single. Day. Opt for a daily moisturizer and/or foundation that includes sunscreen. And if you are headed to the beach or pool – where the water’s reflection amplifies the UV rays – protect your skin against dark spots with SPF50 that you reapply frequently. (This includes you olive/darker skinned beauties, too!)

    When heading to the beach, grab one of those super wide-brimmed hats and massive Jackie-O sunglasses. Fellow beachgoers will be intrigued, thinking you are a celebrity just back from a trip to the South of France. 

    2. Resist Temptation

    You’ve heard it your whole life; don’t mess with your zits. Well, here’s one more reason why your mother was right. You see, dark spots aren’t just caused by sun exposure. They can also be triggered by acne scarring that is a result from squeezing those pesky pimples. And once the skin is scarred it becomes more susceptible to discoloration. 

      With just a teeny bit of self-discipline you can prevent future dark spots and concentrate on fading already dark areas. 

      3. Hydrate Inside and Out

      The minute you return from that fabulous day in the sun, take a moment to treat your hard-working skin. First, gently cleanse your beautiful face and then rehydrate it by applying a good moisturizer. If your skin is parched (a likely scenario!) skip the drying toner. 

        And don’t forget to drink lots of water, too. Water helps reduce hyperpigmentation and it’s great for your entire body. 

        4. Up Your Antioxidant Game

        If there was a magic potion that could enhance skin and protect against future hyperpigmentation, would you be interested? Skincare experts say antioxidants – including vitamins C, E and A -- are about the closest thing.  For instance, one of Vitamin C’s top claims to fame is that it helps to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase, which in turn prevents the production of melanin that causes the dark spots. 

          Look for products that include a variety of powerful antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and help the skin repair itself and reduce dark spots and uneven skin tone. 

          5. Ditch Harsh Chemicals and Go Natural

          You don’t have to resort to harsh and potentially dangerous treatments to fade those dark spots. Start with turmeric which inhibits pigmentation in the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots and pigmented scarring. Aloe Vera is also great because it contains a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown in studies to effectively tone skin and prevent brown spots from occurring in the first place.                                                                                                                     

          And we love green tea, too, because it offers potent antioxidant compounds that help fade blotches and brown areas. 

            Above all, treat your skin lovingly with only the very best natural products. 

            Face masks are a wonderful way to pamper your skin regularly. For a mask that checks all the boxes for a radiant bare-faced glow, try Gleamin™  Vitamin C Clay Mask.

            This multitasking marvel features the top proven natural ingredients for fading dark spots, including Turmeric, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C and Australian Yellow Clay. Each jar comes with a cute brush applicator that allows you to apply the mask easily wherever dark spots crop up. Girl, it's time to get glowing!