Dark spots can be significantly reduced in appearance through the use of an effective, daily skin care regimen that entails pre-cleansing skin before cleansing, toning and moisturizing before applying a treatment serum. A 2 percent hydroquinone cream is commonly used to reduce the intensity of dark spots, or melasma, on the face. Stronger creams with 4 percent hydroquinone are available with a prescription. It is also important to use sunscreen daily. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to visibly notice the lightening of dark spots on face.
- Use a pre-cleanser
Before cleansing skin, use a pre-cleanser. A pre-cleanser that contains oils such as baobab and marula is recommended. Massage the product into your face, and then add water to lather the pre-cleanser before rinsing with lukewarm water.
- Cleanse your face
Choose an appropriate cleanser based on your skin type. Wash your face twice a day by massaging cleanser into your face in a circular motion before rinsing with lukewarm water.
- Tone facial skin
Use a cotton ball to wipe face with a toner containing ingredients such as glycolic acid, witch hazel or salicylic acid to remove any residue that may be left on the face after cleansing.
- Moisturize your face
Choose a moisturizer that contains moisturizing ingredients and emollients. Massage into your face and neck using an upward motion.
- Apply treatment serum
Apply a treatment serum to combat hyperpigmentation. The most effective treatment serums contain a combination of products such as glycolic acid, retinol, kojic acid and vitamin C.
When topical creams are unsuccessful, other treatments used for melasma include chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments performed in doctors' offices or clinics.