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How to Get Rid of Dark Spots: Causes, Care & Prevention

Noticing brown patches on your skin? Here is everything you need to know about dark spots on the face & body. Including the most common causes and a skincare routine you can adopt to reduce their appearance.

Dark spots - Overview

Dark marks, often referred to as hyperpigmentation or brown marks are a common skin concern that can affect anyone. Whether caused by sun exposure, hormonal changes or ageing, these spots can diminish the skin's natural radiance. To get rid of dark spots, incorporate a skincare routine that contains ingredients that target their appearance. To prevent dark spots from developing or darkening, use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and seek shade during peak sun hours.

In this comprehensive guide, NIVEA explores the causes of dark spots and shares effective ways to manage and prevent them, revealing a path to a more luminous and even-toned complexion.

Understanding dark spots

What are dark spots?

Dark spots or brown patches are areas of pigmentation that form on the skin. They appear when melanin - which is the pigment that determines the colour of your skin - is overproduced. This results in a patch of skin being darker than the surrounding skin. Dark spots on the face are particularly common, although dark spots on the body also affect many people. 

Understanding dark spots

4 common areas for dark spots?

Dark spots can appear on various areas of the body due to factors like sun exposure, ageing, hormonal changes, and skin trauma. Here are four common areas where dark spots often occur:

  1. Face:
    Dark spots on the face are very common due to the face's high exposure to sunlight and the delicate nature of its skin. Dark spots, hormonal changes, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can all contribute to the face’s uneven skin tone and discoloration.

  2. Hands:
    The hands are frequently exposed to environmental aggressors, including UV rays and pollutants. The skin on the hands is thinner, making it more prone to hyperpigmentation from sunspots and age spots.

  3. Chest:
    The delicate skin of the chest is frequently exposed to the sun, making it susceptible to dark spots. Low-cut clothing and the cumulative effects of sun exposure over time contribute to the development of dark spots on this area.

  4. Back:
    The skin on the back can be sensitive to friction, clothing and environmental factors, making it prone to skin trauma and acne. This can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and the formation of dark spots.

6 dark spot causes

What causes dark spots on the face and body?

Knowing the main causes of brown patches on the skin can help to understand how to avoid them in the first place. Although some causes are unavoidable, it is still important to understand why you’ve developed them, as this can inform prevention. Here are the most common causes of dark spots on the skin:
woman holding a Nivea Luminous630 Antispot Advanced Hand Cream
  1. Sun Exposure: 
    Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays triggers an increase in melanin production, leading to the formation of dark spots. This is particularly true for areas frequently exposed to sunlight, such as the face, hands, arms, and shoulders.

  2. Hormonal Changes: 
    Hormonal fluctuations can contribute to the development of dark spots. Conditions like melasma often arise due to hormonal imbalances, leading to patches of hyperpigmentation and dark spots on the face.

  3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): 
    Inflammation caused by acne, insect bites, or other skin trauma triggers an overproduction of melanin. As the skin heals, spots can form, especially in individuals with darker skin tones.

  4. Genetics: 
    Genetic predisposition can influence the skin's susceptibility to dark spots. People with a family history of hyperpigmentation can be more prone to developing dark spots, regardless of external factors.

  5. Friction and Rubbing: 
    Areas of the skin that experience constant friction, such as the inner thighs or underarms, can develop dark brown marks as the skin's response to repeated irritation.

  6. Ageing:
    As we age, the skin's natural processes can become less efficient, including the distribution of melanin. This can result in the accumulation of pigmentation in certain areas, causing dark brown to black spots to appear.
6 ways to get rid of dark spots

How to get rid of dark spots?

Removing or getting rid of dark spots could be quite difficult however there are some approaches you can take to help reduce them. Here are some effective approaches to minimise the appearance of dark spots. Be sure to bear in mind that some of these solutions can be invasive, so seek advice from your dermatologist where appropriate:
  1. Laser Therapy: 
    Laser procedures, like intense pulsed light (IPL) or fractional laser therapy, have the capability to focus on melanin within areas of hyperpigmentation, resulting in a reduced appearance. Typically, these procedures are administered by dermatologists or skilled practitioners.

  2. Chemical Peels: 
    Chemical peels use a chemical solution to remove the outer skin layers, helping new skin to grow and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

  3. Cryotherapy: 
    In this process, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and eliminate the extra melanin in dark spots, causing them to gradually fade away.

  4. Microdermabrasion: 
    Through microdermabrasion, the outer skin layers are mechanically removed. This is achieved by propelling fine crystals onto the skin's surface at high velocity, followed by their rapid removal through suction. As a result, deep discolorations are removed and the skin regenerates.

  5. Home Remedies: 
    Certain natural remedies like Lemon juice, Aloe Vera, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Green Tea extract might help in lightening skin spots when applied directly to the skin. Nevertheless, it's important to use these remedies carefully and conduct a patch test to prevent any potential skin irritation.

  6. Skincare Routine: 
    Adopt a skin care routine that specifically targets this concern by choosing cleansers, serums, moisturisers and a sunscreen that can help to fade and reduce the appearance of dark spots overtime.

    Before starting any treatment, consult a dermatologist to determine the most suitable approach for your skin type and the severity of your dark spots. Remember, consistent sun protection is key to preventing new dark spots from forming and maintaining overall skin health.
Treat dark spots on face

NIVEA Luminous630 Skincare Routine to reduce dark spots:

Cleanse: Start your skincare routine with a facial cleanse, effectively eliminating impurities and prepping your skin for the next steps. This initial step ensures a clean, receptive canvas for the rest of your skincare products.
woman using Nivea Luminous630 products

Serum: Apply a serum that could help brighten your skin and fade dark spots. The NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti Dark-Spot Face Treatment Serum formula contains Luminous630 to target existing pigmentation, lighten spots and reduce their size. Dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types, it offers a gentle and approved approach to skincare.    

For men, the NIVEA MEN Anti-Age 2 in 1 Power Serum can help to tackle dark spots. It is formulated with Luminous630 and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, combat wrinkles and diminish the size of brown marks. The serum offers a convenient solution for men seeking effective anti dark spot care.  


Moisturise: Select a moisturiser that effectively hydrates your skin without causing pore blockages. Maintaining proper skin hydration can significantly improve its overall look and feel.

  • A day cream offers vital moisture and hydration throughout the day, to help restore the skin's natural barrier. It acts as a shield against external factors such as UV rays, pollution, and stressors, which can play a role in the development of dark spots and other skin concerns. The NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti-Dark Spot Day Cream is a lightweight moisturiser that not only delivers deep hydration but also works gradually to minimise the visibility of dark spots.

  • During the night, it's beneficial to help your skin's rejuvenation process by using a night cream. Opt for a night cream infused with ingredients that could help to reduce the visibility of dark spots as you sleep. The NIVEA Cellular Luminous630 Anti-Dark Spot Night Cream contains cell-activating Hyaluronic Acid, which helps with skin revitalization. This cream also contains Luminous630 to help reduce the appearance of dark spots.
Sunscreen: Throughout the day, it's essential to protect your skin from the sun and against harmful UV rays by using a sunscreen with a strong SPF. Sun exposure can further darken your dark spots. 

The NIVEA SUN UV Face Specialist Dark Spot Control Fluid helps to prevent and visibly reduces sun-induced spots by protecting your delicate facial skin against UV rays. The products light and non-greasy fluid formula contains Luminous630 and is enriched with Hyaluronic acid & Vitamin E to offer a refreshing effect and a smooth skin feeling. 

Optional Weekly Mask Treatment: Once a week you could also use a face mask. The NIVEA Q10 Power Anti-Age Brightening Mask helps to provide your skin with an extra boost.The serum-infused mask is enriched with dual action Coenzyme Q10 and acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect skin against aggressors. 

Optional Weekly Exfoliation: 1-3 times a week gently exfoliate your skin to help remove dead skin cells and improve the effectiveness of your skincare products. Exfoliation can help to speed up the skin's natural turnover process, which can fade dark spots over time.

Be cautious not to over-exfoliate your skin, as this can lead to irritation.
By incorporating NIVEA's Luminous skincare products into your routine, you could improve your dark spots and can help to prevent new spots from forming.
three women using Nivea Luminous630 Eye Treatment

How does Luminous630 help dark spots?

Luminous630 is NIVEA’s breakthrough patented ingredient that can help fade and prevent dark spots. The Luminous630 range is enriched with effective ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid which can be found in the advanced treatment serum to brighten the skin.

NIVEA Luminous630 products are developed to safely fade dark spots and help prevent future pigmentation by working at cellular level to rebalance melanin production and treat dark spots at the root cause.

How to prevent dark spots on skin?

Not all causes of dark spots on skin can be prevented - some occur naturally due to age and other factors. That being said, black and brown spots on skin caused by sun damage can be prevented. We’ve highlighted some tips to help you prevent brown patches on skin caused by sun damage:
  1. Use Sunscreen 
    Using sunscreen protects your skin from the sun damage that causes brown spots. By using a high SPF sunscreen - you can prevent your skin from becoming damaged and ensure that it's as healthy as possible to combat dark spots on the skin.

  2. Cover Up 
    Black or brown spots on the face, neck and other overexposed areas can be prevented by covering them from the sun. Even if you use sunscreen, these areas are still more prone to dark spots than others. Try a baseball cap or a broad-brimmed hat to offer your face and neck protection from the sun.

  3. Avoid The Midday Sun 
    The sun reaches its highest temperature and most intense points during midday and early evenings, increasing the risk of sun damage and the potential development of black and brown spots on the skin. To protect your skin, seek shade during these times and choose to enjoy the sun during periods when it isn’t as damaging to your skin.

    By adopting these preventive measures and making sun protection a priority, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing dark spots and maintain healthier, youthful-looking skin over time.

Dark spots - Takeaway

Dark spots are a common skin concern, often occurring on sun-exposed regions such as the face, hands, back and chest. However, they can be effectively managed through a dedicated skincare routine, allowing for their reduction and prevention. 

Consistency is key, as is the regular application of sunscreen to shield the skin from harmful UV rays, preventing the dark spots from intensifying.  

While dark spots are generally not dangerous, it's strongly advised to have any skin discoloration examined by a dermatologist to rule out serious skin conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:What causes dark spots?

Dark spots can be caused by factors like UV exposure, hormonal changes, ageing, genetics, skin injuries, and inflammation.

Q2: Can dark spots be prevented?

Yes, preventing dark spots involves consistent sun protection. Regularly applying broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours can help prevent new dark spots from forming or existing ones from worsening.

Q3: Are there natural remedies for dark spots?

Some natural remedies include Lemon juice, Aloe Vera, Honey, and Turmeric. However, their effectiveness varies, and it's recommended to consult a dermatologist before trying these remedies, as they might not be as potent as medical interventions.

Q4: How long does it take to see results from dark spot treatments?

Results vary depending on the treatment used and the severity of the dark spots. Generally, it can take several weeks to months to notice visible improvements.

Q5: Are dark spots dangerous?

In most cases, dark spots are harmless and purely a cosmetic concern. However, it's important to consult a dermatologist to rule out any serious underlying skin conditions, especially if a spot is irregular in shape, changing, or accompanied by other symptoms.

Q6: Can I cover up dark spots with makeup?

Yes, makeup can help conceal dark spots temporarily. However, using skincare products to effectively treat the dark spots will provide longer-lasting results.

Q7: Can people with darker skin tones develop dark spots?

Yes, individuals with all skin tones can develop dark spots. In fact, those with darker skin tones are often more susceptible to certain types of dark spots, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).