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Why do I get brown spots?

Posted by Dan Narsete on


“I cleanse my face no matter how tired I am or how many martini’s I’ve had that night” -Romy Frydman

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Brown spots, liver spots, age spots, sun spots, and whatever else you have heard of or called them happen to millions of people. Whether you live in Nome, Alaska, or in sunny California, everyone gets exposure to the sun. And when this happens so does skin discoloration. 

What is a brown spot?

Understanding why we get them in the first place is always a good place to start. There are two main forms of brown spots. The most common is known as hyperpigmentation. This happens when your skin produces an abundance of pigment from sun exposure and sometimes after a laser treatment. The other is called melasma which some people call the “pregnancy mask” because some women will get these spots when they are pregnant. This is largely caused by various changing hormonal levels that have “triggers.” These triggers can range from stress to exposure to heat.

Why does it happen?

In short, your skin has cells called melanocytes in it. These melanocytes produce melanin, which is our bodies’ natural sunscreen. When ultraviolet or infrared light from the sun hits melanocytes, they get all excited. When they get excited they produce melanin and voila! Say hello to freckles and brown spots.

What can I do about it?

Prevention is always the easiest way to avoid sunspots. Believe it or not sunscreen is the easiest and most effective way of avoiding pigmentation issues. Even melasma can be aggravated by sun exposure. Aside from using sunscreen religiously, medical-based skincare is another option. Serums that contain arbutin, kojic acid, and azeliac acid can help calm your skin from going crazy. These pigmentation-busters help to inhibit the production of melanin and have been used in medicine for many years. Antioxidant-based skin regimens can also help by slowing down inflammation.

In summation, wear (and re-apply) sunscreen every day. Not just when you go to the pool, mountains, or beach. Incorporate a medical-grade serum that can inhibit melanin production into your skincare regimen. Be sure to use a moisturizer or additional serum that has antioxidants in it. If you need help finding these products, you can click here and let us create a customized skin care experience for you.

To health skin,

Team Reflect


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