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- Got dark spots? You're not alone! Many people develop skin discoloration as they age, and unfortunately, that hyperpigmentation is likely to only worsen over the years if you don't take steps to address it. The good news is that today's top dermatologist skin care brands have developed lightening anti-aging products that can help you deal with those dark age spots. Here at drugstore.com, we have an assortment of lighteners available to buy online, so you can easily find the perfect product for addressing discoloration.
read more about lighteners »  |  find answers to your skin care questions »

Why Do I Have Dark Spots on My Face?

Age spots or hyperpigmentation occur when the skin produces too much of its natural pigment, which is called melanin. Your body naturally makes melanin in response to sun exposure as a way of protecting the tissue. Unfortunately, damage from the sun and environmental impurities can cause the natural melanin production mechanism to malfunction and overproduce the pigment. Hormonal changes that take place due to child birth and aging are also believed to play a role in the formation of age spots. Inflammation and injury can also play a role.

How Can I Lighten My Skin?

Dermatologists may recommend a number of medications and natural extracts for addressing age spots, and these substances are used as active ingredients in dermatologist grade anti-aging skin care products.

The FDA has approved the topical drug hydroquinone for the treatment of skin discoloration, and it's found in numerous products. This medication gradually lightens the skin by interfering with melanin production.

Another commonly used ingredient in lightening products is kojic acid. Derived from fungus, this natural substance reduces the speed of melanin production to diminish dark spots.

Brighteners and Exfoliators for Enhancing the Complexion

Not all products that address skin discoloration disrupt or impede melanin production. Some skin lighteners contain ingredients that remove discolored skin. This may be done with alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid or with fruit extracts like pineapple bromelain and papaya papain enzymes. By exfoliating, these skin care products can make the entire complexion appear brighter and more radiant.

Vitamin C is also used as a skin brightener in some anti-aging products. The nutrient provides the added benefit of antioxidant protection which can reduce the risk of damage that can result in future age spots.

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