Types of Dark Spots & How to Treat Them

Published: May 20 2021 & Updated: January 02 2024
What causes dark spots and skin discoloration?

All caught up on Dark Spots 101? Now that we’ve covered hyperpigmentation basics, we’re taking a deeper dive into the different types of dark spots you may be dealing with.

We’re here to help you classify the “what” and “why” behind your dark spots. Not only that, but we’re going to shed some light on how best to deal with them! Let’s dive in:

What Are the Different Types of Dark Spots?

There can be many different causes and reasons for dark spots. This can make it difficult to differentiate and treat concern areas effectively. Here are the most common types of dark spots and their causes:

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

A.k.a the pesky dark spots left behind after your bad breakouts. This lingering discoloration is caused by an overproduction of melanin––the protein that gives your skin its color. Melanin helps to heal the skin, so more is produced when you’re breaking out.

Sun Spots

When your summer vacays start to catch up with you, sun spots will start to appear. UVA/UVB rays speed up the production of melanin, so with time, the melanin becomes clumped on skin and shows up as skin discoloration. Also known as ‘age spots’ or ‘liver spots’, these dark spots develop with time as you get older––so, get ahead of them now and wear your SPF (always!!!) 


Another common cause of pesky dark spots? This common skin condition is caused by hormonal changes in the body––think birth control, hormonal therapies, pregnancy, and stress (yes, stress!!!). While there are cases in which this can be permanent, the good news is that it often is treatable and can be temporary! 

Other conditions or medication 

If you are feeling your hyperpigmentation may be the cause of another skin condition or medication you are taking, talk to your dermatologist or primary care doctor.  Although rare, some skin discoloration could be a sign of something more serious, like skin cancer. Be sure to keep an eye out for the ABCDE's: 

  • Asymmetry: irregular shape 
  • Border: outer edges are uneven 
  • Color: dark black or multiple colors 
  • Diameter: diameter (greater than 6mm)
  • Evolving: change in size, shape or color 

How to Effectively Treat Dark Spots

Now that we’ve covered what dark spots are and what causes them, we’re going to help you get rid of that pesky discoloration. Here are a few treatments you can try:

Our newly reformulated brightening dots help fade the appearance of dark spots with its 430 dissolving microneedles for max absorption. They pack a punch with these power player ingredients:

  • Niacinamide: A form of vitamin B that helps deliver an even-looking complexion

  • Tranexamic Acid: An amino acid derivative that helps to minimize the appearance of dark spots

  • Ferulic Acid: A potent antioxidant that helps to improve the look to dark spots (and helps improve overall tone!)

Shop our Dark Spots-fighting collection for more spot-savers!

Acne Treatments

Our daily acne treatment (and first-ever serum!) not only eliminates acne, but it ALSO helps minimize the appearance of dark spots and discoloration!

  • Salicylic Acid: Clears acne blemishes and prevents new ones from forming
  • Niacinamide & Vitamin C: Brightens the look of dark spots and evens the skin's appearance
  • Centella Asiatica Extract: Herbal extract with properties that help promote healthy-looking skin

*Research-Backed Ingredient Studies

Shop our entire Acne treatment collection!

Laser treatments, peels, and prescriptions

If you suffer from severe hyperpigmentation, contact your dermatologist about other treatment options. Laser facials and chemical peels have been shown to help aid in the reduction of dark spots and discoloration on the skin. There are also topical prescriptions that could help as well, just talk to your doc.

Shop our Dark Spots Dots and Dark Spots Serum now!

Got a skin concern? We’ve got a solution. Just text us & we’ll walk you through your personalized step-by-step solution. Your skincare coach will ask for a quick selfie to ensure we find the perfect regimen for your skin concerns! Let’s Chat >

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