As summer came abruptly to the end it left us filled with beautiful memories and some of us with “sun spots” also known as hyperpigmentation on our face and bodies. They are different from freckles as they are bigger, have more irregular shapes and don’t always look flattering. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition and it affects people of all skin types. It occurs when the skin produces more melanin, the pigment in the skin responsible for its color, that forms deposits in certain areas. This can make spots or patches of skin appear darker than the surrounding area. They can form superficially in the epidermis -then they look yellow or beige or deeper- in the dermis and then they appear darker brown. Sounds familiar? Some medications, such as antimalarial drugs or tricyclic antidepressants, can promote hyperpigmentation. In these cases, patches of skin may appear gray. Certain chemicals in topical creams can also cause hyperpigmentation. Always read the labels and warnings about which products cause sun sensitivity. Some forms of hyperpigmentation, including melasma and sun spots, are more likely to affect areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, including the face, arms, and legs. Other types of hyperpigmentation can form after an injury or skin inflammation like cuts, burns or acne. These can occur anywhere on the body and are not related to the sun. Although these patches, for the most part are harmless many of us wish they could disappear. So how to make that happen? First and foremost, we need to use sunscreens to prevent them from forming in the first place. Mineral sunscreens are your safest bet. Use at least spf 20 in the winter and spf 50 in the summer. There is many whitening products on the market promising stellar results but when choosing one always have their safety in mind. Some of them e.g. hydroquinone can be harmful for your organs so use your discretion (and a lot of research) before deciding which one to use. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant and brightening properties and it’s a safe ingredient, especially when it comes from an organic source e.g. elaspa vitamin c optimal age repair cream and serum. Make sure it’s a non-oxidizing form so it doesn’t loose its effectiveness when applied to the skin. Another natural option for brightening those stubborn patches are some of the alpine herbs that show in vitro tyrosinase-inhibiting activity, an enzyme involved in melanin biosynthesis. 7 plants that were selected to form Gigawhite™ including: Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract. Gigawhite™ is found in elaspa brightening serum along with hyaluronic acid 2 in 1 for extra hydration. Ever heard of a Darkout™? It’s a purified extract of rhizome of Hypoxis rooperi, rich in hypoxoside that also inhibits melanin production and is found in elapromed brightening compound dedicated to treat dark spots. It also stimulates collagen production and is a known antioxidant. Chemical peels are known for their brightening properties as they cause “ controlled destruction of a part or of the entire epidermis, with or without the underlying dermis, which leads to shedding and removal of superficial lesions.” Also look for products containing kojic acid, AHAs, licorice extract, and tranexamic acid as they are proven brightening agents. Fall and winter months are great to get our skin in check so if your dark patches really bother you, now it’s the best time to start working on them. Before the sunny days come back again.