Skin Care – How to get rid of dark spots for POC

how to get rid of dark spots| dark spot treatment

This has to be the Number 1 Skin Care question for ‘melanated’ people. How to remove dark spots and hyperpigmentation to get an even tone complexion.

Hyperpigmentation is basically a fancy way of referring to darker skin patches caused by excess melanin deposits.

Dark spots naturally fade however it could take from 2 weeks to 24 months for a spot to completely clear up.

There are active ingredients to look out for that can speed up the fading process and brighten without losing your natural complexion.

Note: Be careful of brightening products. Getting an even skin tone is not the same as skin bleaching.

Active Ingredients To Look Out For Treating Dark Spots


If there’s only one product you need to clear up dark spots or you’re on a tight budget, Get SUNSCREEN!

The main cause of hyperpigmentation is sun damage from excessive sun exposure.

Even though, melanin protects the skin from UV radiation, continuous exposure to sun rays can lead to skin darkening and damage.

It is recommended to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above, however the major qualm with high SPF is the WHITE CAST.

Find below my top picks for Melanin friendly Sunscreens.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer With SPF 30 – Available on Jumia (N13,850)

aveeno sunscreen skin brightening

You get value for money with this sunscreen. Extremely lightweight and easy to apply without feeling greasy.

Most importantly, you don’t get a white cast with this sunscreen.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply everyday preferably in the morning. Layer on after moisturizer for maximum protection.

Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion For Face And Body SPF 30. Available on Jumia (N12,500)

black girl sunscreen remove dark spots

A sunscreen fave for deeper skin tones as it has no white cast on application.

Amazing sunscreen with decent coverage and UV protection.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply everyday preferably in the morning. Layer on after moisturizer for maximum protection.

Elta MD UV Daily SPF 40– Available on Amazon ($30)

elta md uv broad spectrum spf 40 sunscreen recommendations

This sunscreen is of higher Broad Spectrum but compensates for the potential white cast by being tinted.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply everyday preferably in the morning. Layer on after moisturizer for maximum protection.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

These are a group of plant or animal derived acids present in bunch of skin care mainly exfoliating and skin brightening products.

AHA’s do quite a number of positive things for the skin;

  • Exfoliation – Removal of dead skin cell build up
  • Skin brightening – Removal of dark spots
  • Improves Skin Texture
  • Promotes collagen growth
  • Fight acne causing bacteria

AHA’s that specifically aid skin brightening are citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid.

Make sure to not mix your acids and incorporate one at a time into your skin care routine.

Make sure to also clarify with your dermatologist or health care provider before using a new product.

Citric Acid

Citric Acid can be found naturally in fruits like oranges, lemons, grapes and more.

It has a lot of benefits like brightening, exfoliating, protecting the skin from sun exposure and removing dark spots.

Skin care products with Citric Acid to try out;

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Available here ($10)

remove dark spots vitamin c the ordinary alpha arbutin

This product combines two amazing active ingredients in Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and Alpha Arbutin (a hydro-quinone variant) where both help to brighten the skin and reduce melanin formation.

HOW TO APPLY: It is a serum to be applied preferably at night after cleanser and toner.

It is not to be used with other acids like salicylic acids or retinols.

This product can make skin sun sensitive because of its exfoliating properties hence use sunscreen after application.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum. Available here ($65)

ole henriksen banana bright serum vitamin c acid

This serum is the holy grail of citric acid skin boosters containing Vitamin C, PHA’s and hyaluronic acid for brighter healthier skin.

This wouldn’t give a dramatic difference in melasma or severe dark spots but could be great for maintaining skin.

HOW TO APPLY: Use the serum before moisturiser and follow up with sunscreen.


Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is an AHA derived from sugarcane and has risen dramatically in its use by skin care enthusiasts. For fast results, Glycolic Acid is the way to go.

It is one of the lightweight acids and absorbs extremely quickly and deep into the skin.

As with other acids, start out with lower concentrations and incorporate slowly into your regimen.

Note to use with caution if you have extremely dry or sensitive skin.

Skin care products with Glycolic Acid to try out;

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – Available on Jumia (N6,450)

the ordinary glycolic acid how to remove dark spots

The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner is definitely a favourite for fast results in removing dark spots but can be harsh for sensitive skin.

HOW TO APPLY: Pour on a cotton pad and swipe around face.

To be used after cleanser on a dry face, before moisturiser and follow up with sunscreen.

It is not to be used with other acids like salicylic acids or retinols.

This product can make skin more sensitive to the sun because of its exfoliating properties hence use sunscreen after application.

Pixi Glow Tonic – 5% Glycolic Acid Toner- Available on Jumia (currently on sale for N4,900)

Glow Tonic - Pixi Beauty In UK - Pixi | Cult Beauty

Pixi Toner’s glycolic acid concentration is lower than The Ordinary hence it’s more suitable for sensitive skin tones or skin care beginners.

HOW TO APPLY: Same as above.

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is another brilliant AHA derived from- yes you guessed it- Milk.

For people that are overly sensitive to Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid products are an excellent option as it does not penetrate as deep into the skin.

Similar to the AHA’s mentioned above, Lactic Acid has great exfoliation, skin brightening and hydrating properties.

Skin Care products with Lactic Acid to try out;

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% +HA Available on Jumia (currently on sale N2490)

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA | Ulta Beauty skin care

This formulation allows for exfoliation of the skin and contains pepper berry derivatives that balance the acid to reduce irritation.

HOW TO APPLY: Start 1x-3x a week to start with first. Use on the skin preferably at night.

Because it contains an AHA, the skin can be more sensitive to sun exposure, so sunscreen use is advised.

Biossance Squalene + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum. Available on Amazon ($62)

Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum - Retexturizing  Facial Treatment for Nighttime - No Parabens or Synthetic Fragrance (30ml)  : Beauty

Although expensive, this lactic acid serum solves a lot of skin care issues and FAST.

Exfoliates and resurfaces skin overnight.

It brightens skin complexion, fixes uneven skin texture and helps with wrinkles. Powerful yet non-irritating is their slogan.

Results are proven to be seen in 1-2 weeks.

HOW TO APPLY: To be used in the PM. Massage 2-3 pumps into the face and to be followed with your favorite moisturiser.

Kojic Acid

Although not an AHA, is an amazing active ingredient to use to fade dark spots.

Derived from mushrooms and can be also gotten from fermented rice.

Alongside Glycolic Acid, it can penetrate deeper layers of the skin to slow and stop the production of melanin.

Kojic acid is very effective in removing dark spots alongisde other hyperpigmentation issues like; Melasma, Sun Damage from exposure, post-inflammatory pigmentation from injuries

It is often used as a spot treatment for darkened areas and not for overall use.

Kojic Acid Products to use;

Kojic Acid Soap Kojie San Skin Lighting Soap – Available on Jumia (N2500)

Kojic acid Jumia Nigeria Skin Brightening Acid How to remove dark spot

Kojic Acid Soap provides fast satisfactory results on major hyper pigmentation and melasma on deeper skin tones.

Like other acids aforementioned, it’s use can leave the skin open and more sensitive to UV rays and the sun so sunscreen protection is crucial along its use.

It is not to be used with other acids or BHA’s like salicylic acid or Vitamin C derivatives.

HOW TO APPLY: To be used as a dark spot treatment. Rub the soap on areas where there are dark spots and rinse thoroughly off.

Make sure to follow up with a moisturizer and a sun screen for maximum UV protection.

Hope this was helpful in finding out how to remove dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Kindly note that some product links in this article are affiliate links. The product recommendations are still valid and can be purchased from other stores and shops.

For other skin care questions or advice, you can check out our SKIN CARE QUIZ on figuring out your ideal skin care routine with recommended products.

How fun!

You can also keep up with all our beauty related content on our Beauty Page

Until next time! Ciao!

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