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Dark Spots & Freckles, Our Summer Souvenirs!

dark spots & freckles

Summer in Cyprus is truly endless and beautiful! But it leaves us with annoying souvenirs we didn’t ask for like dark spots and freckles. So there is no better time to start acting on those pesky pigments with skincare ingredients proven to help minimize them if not eradicate them completely. There are a few miraculous ingredients that can help with skin hyper-pigmentation and Asian beauty brands are no strangers to whitening and brightening potions. In fact, their lab testing is far more rigorous than their Western counterparts! Let’s have a closer look at these star ingredients.

Vitamin C
Oh the legendary Vitamin C! Best used as a serum, Vitamin C actually works to reduce acne scars, even our skin tone, iron out fine lines and rough texture, and brighten skin tone. It is a potent anti-oxidant that works in many ways. It helps neutralize damage from environmental aggressors like pollution and UV exposure. Because Vitamin C is highly acidic, it gives our skin that extra push to start regenerating skin cells and produce collagen and elastin (hence its anti-aging properties). Finally, it inhibits melanin production so it prevents dark spots and hyper-pigmentation and fades out existing ones.

Despite its miraculous abilities, Vitamin C is an unstable ingredient affected by light and air. So choose your packaging carefully (no light-colored bottles or jars). The most stable and effective form of Vitamin C is called Ascorbic Acid. Look for serums that contain Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), another anti-oxidant that strengthens the benefits on the skin. We recommend Rohto Mentholatum’s Melano CC Vitamin C essence which is a potent Vitamin C serum you can incorporate into your daily skincare. The thin dispenser at the end of the tube has technology that does not allow air to enter ensuring the stability of the ingredients. The addition of Vitamin E ensures that you get the full anti-oxidant and anti-aging benefits of the serum. Use it daily with a good sunscreen (SPF30+).

Rohto Mentholatum – Melano CC Vitamin C Essence, €20
Skin type: All

Niancinamide
Our second star ingredient Niancinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 and helps fight acne, rosacea, hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles. Its effects are similar to Vitamin C in that it helps the skin regenerate and fight free radicals. It also helps increase the production of ceramides (lipids that aid the skin’s protective barrier) therefore can have an effect on lines and wrinkles. If for whatever reason your skin is too sensitive for Vitamin C products, then Niancinamide might be your best bet. We carry a few serums containing Niancinamide, depending on your skin type.

Elizavecca – CF-Nest 97% B-Jo Serum, €17
Skin type: All, 20s
iUNIK – Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, €25
Skin type: Dry, Sensitive, Aging
iUNIK – Rose Galactomyces Synergy Serum, €25
Skin type: Oily, Sensitive, Aging

Licorice
Licorice contains two ingredients that help with hyper-pigmentation, labridin and liquiritin that act to minimize the production of melanin and remove pigmentation from the skin. Licorice also helps even out skin tone. We carry an anti-aging gel cream which contains Licorice, suitable for mature and aging skin.

SANA – Soy Milk Brightening Wrinkle Gel, €31
Skin type: Mature/aging

Arbutin
This is a natural form of hydroquinone, a safer alternative, which is powerful in dealing with existing dark spots by reducing melanin production. You can find this ingredient in SANA’s gel cream (above) and Secret Key’s SYN-AKE Anti-Wrinkle & Whitening cream.

Secret Key – SYN-AKE Anti Wrinkle & Whitening Cream, €26
Skin type: Mature/aging

AHAs & BHAs
Suitable even for the most sensitive and acne-prone skin, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are great alternatives as they gently exfoliate and brighten the skin and suppress melanin. You may find this milder ingredient in the products below.

Isntree – Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence, €17
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive
CHICA Y CHICO – Beta-Salic 2.0 Cream, €19
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive
COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, €20
Skin type: All, including acne-prone & sensitive

Clearly, there are many safe & natural ingredients you can use to lighten those dark spots and prevent future ones from forming so it is a good idea to incorporate at least one of them in your daily skincare. The products above are great in helping with this. When using any of the ingredients mentioned in this article, make sure you always wear a sunscreen during the day of at least SPF30+ as they can increase sun sensitivity. Now go get spotless!

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