10 Jun 2018

Beauty Tip: My Experience Combating Freckles, Dark Spots, Sun Spots, Hyperpigmentation, Acne Scars and PIHs

Hi guys, I am back with another beauty tips this week. Actually, I started venturing into skincare in an attempt to find the best solution for my freckles and sun spots. However, after years of experimenting, my freckles seem to come back and forth. There is a cycle to it that I have given up thinking of getting rid of it completely. My review today is to share with some of you my experience combating dark spots, sun spots and freckles in the past 5 years and hopefully it will be helpful for some of you who have the same skincare problems with me here.

Lets get a concept right. Freckles are hard to remove, but sun spots and age spots can. Freckles have something to do with your genes and the genes will always be there no matter how you try to manage your melanin synthesis. Sun spots and age spots are damages to the skin and they can be cured by acids, vitamin C and other melanin suppressing ingredients.

Dark spots has everything to do with skin metabolism. When I have better rest, my freckles are less obvious. The opposite happens when I didn't sleep well last night. I think it is not wrong to call it liver spots. My dark spots are easier to manage when my liver is functioning properly.

The only effective solution to freckles are concealer. Not others. And the best whitening serum is sunscreen.

Below are some of things I did for my freckles and sun spots and their results:

1. Vitamin C

It really depends on what kind of vitamin C you are getting. For instance, Dr. Wu Vitamin C Serum doesn't help with my freckles but it evens out my complexion as a whole. I also tried Laneige White Dew Ampoule Essence and Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spots Solution, all of which are not very helpful for my dark spots, only skin tone. I am eyeing The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid + Arbutin, which has purer form of vitamin C. Let's hope that one works.

2. Niacinamide

This stuff rocks. Niacinamide is the only ingredient that I have seen results in my freckles. My first niacinamide comes from Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence. This ingredient is actually everywhere so I welcome anything with niacinamide. It is gentle, not irritating and carries many other skincare benefits too. Treatment essence is normally loaded with niacinamide, which is why I am obsessed with treatment essence too!

3. Arbutin

My feeling towards arbutin is kinda mixed. I tried many things with arbutin, but the results are not that obvious and stable. The Ordinary Arbutin Serum seems to work but again, it cannot get rid of my freckles completely. Asian loves arbutin whereas vitamin C is more popular in the Western countries in my opinion.

4. Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHAs)

I used AHA mainly for exfoliation. This stuff cannot suppress your melanin synthesis. It only take off that outer layer of your skin with melanin so your dark spots appear shallower when you use AHAs. But when used properly, AHA will help you to achieve your goal faster as it helps to get rid of surface melanin!

5. Proper Hydration

For some reasons I notice that my freckles are shallower and less obvious whenever my skin is properly hydrated. I think moisture is literally the key to your skincare health! Properly hydrated and moisturized skin is dewier, more resilient, and less prone to wrinkles and other skin damages!

6. Sun Protection

If you want to combat freckles, wear sunscreen (1/4 tsp; reapply every 2 hours; SPF50). If you cannot (like me, sometimes), then don't think about anti-pigmentation. You cannot beat the speed of melanin synthesis by applying brightening serum if you are not wearing sunscreen. Trust me.

7. Drink Lemon Water

This sounds funny but it is actually not. I drink lemon water and apple cider vinegar to lose weight but I got fairer skin and clearer complexion as a "side effect". Lemon is rich in vitamin C and a bunch of other vitamins so drinking it will not only help you to lose weight but will also make your skin brighter and fairer and of course dark spots free!

8. Sleep Earlier

Like I said, freckles and dark spots have many things to do with your liver health. It is not a pseudoscience. I learn it from past mistakes. My freckles will come back darker if I don't get enough sleep. Sometimes my freckles appear shallower even if I didn't apply anything when I get enough sleep and sleep before 10.30PM.


I haven't gotten rid of my freckles completely. This is still an on-going fight but I have gathered enough intelligence to fund my war. A few things to remember when it comes to dark spots fighting:

  • Consume a lot of vitamin C rich foods
  • Wear sunscreen (1/4 tsp; reapply at least 2-3 times a day; SPF50) everyday
  • Keep your skin and body hydrated
  • Sleep before 10.30PM everyday

And for added effectiveness:
  • Use a brightening serum with either niacinamide, vitamin C, or arbutin
  • Use a treatment essence with hydrating properties and with niacinamide added in it
  • Use AHAs (either lactic acid, glycolic acid, or mandelic acid) at least 2-3 times a week or as per instruction

Skincare doesn't have to do expensive. It actually starts from your daily activities. Live healthy, look pretty!

[Disclaimer] Product is purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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