Colin Solves Your Problems 10: Dark Marks/Sunspots

Hello Colin, do you have any advice on whats best to use for a sun/dark spot I have on my face ? Thanks Helen


Hi Helen,

Oh dear that is a tough one. You probably already know to avoid exposing it to bright sunlight as far as you can. There is a combination of a couple of vitamins, C and B3, that has a mild effect on these kinds of spots if used for a long time. Products containing them have them listed as niacinamide and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate on the ingredient list. To be honest the effect isn’t huge and is very unlikely to do anything other than fade them a bit.

In theory lemon juice should work, and you see it advised in magazines and on the internet sometimes. I haven’t got any experience to say how well it works in reality.

All the best



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5 thoughts on “Colin Solves Your Problems 10: Dark Marks/Sunspots”

  1. Hi Colin – I hope you don’t mind me butting in. I had melasma after pregnancy, and what worked for me was:

    Vitamin C and sunscreen during the day.

    Rosehip oil at night.

    It took a year to fade them completely, but this routine did help.

  2. Colin is right that being in the sun makes them worse, but I have found that just being in heat makes them as bad – I wear Vit C, SPF, and stay out of the sun, but in the summer, NOTHING helps. Try to stay cool!

  3. On Twitter Jessica from asked “what about hydroquinone or AHA/BHA?”. Hydroquinone certainly does work but isn’t easily available in over the counter products in Europe, but you can get them in the US. Hydroquinone is quite controversial, but that is another blog post. AHA and BHA certainly should work in theory but I have no experience of what amount you would need to use. Both of these materials appear on ingredient lists fairly often, but they are there to protect the product not your skin and are at really really low levels which won’t have any effect on the end user at all.

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