Dark spots don't just appear on the face—they can also pop up on the legs! It's totally normal to have them, but if it's something that bothers you, here’s how you can even out your skin tone.
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What causes dark spots on the legs?
1. Hair removal
They certainly make your legs feel silky smooth, but unfortunately, waxing and shaving your legs are your prime suspects. Pulling hairs from their roots can cause follicles on your legs to become irritated and inflamed. A buildup of dead skin cells can also block pores and cause the hair to grow sideways into the skin, which can result in ingrown hairs.
2. Sun damage
It’s not just your face—your legs are also susceptible to sun damage. Certain patches of skin on your legs may produce more melanin than surrounding areas. When you go out into the sun sans an umbrella, you’re more susceptible to freckles and dark spots. You’re also increasing the possibility of sun damage when you neglect to apply SPF to your body.
3. Skin conditions
Bad news: pimples can flare up not just on your T-zone and back, but on your legs too. This is possibly due to bacterial infection in the follicles caused by tight clothing and sweating. Other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can also leave dark spots on your legs.
Dark spots aren’t often cause for alarm. In some cases, however, they can be a symptom of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Watch out for irregularly-shaped moles which itch, bleed, and constantly change color. Consult your dermatologist for further advice.
How to treat dark spots on your legs
1. Upgrade your hair removal routine
Laser hair removal attacks the problem at its root (pun intended), but if you can’t commit to several sessions at the moment, try to see what you can do to improve your hair removal routine in the interim.
Take the time to exfoliate before each waxing session to unclog your pores. Pick a scrub that’ll buff the skin without stripping it.
For you ladies who prefer to shave, remember it’s called a disposable razor for a reason—throw it out and switch to a new one on a regular basis! Your old one is teeming with bacteria. Plus, a dull blade will leave you with an uneven shave, which will only add to the possibility of ingrown hairs.
In case you do get ingrown hair, let it go away on its own. Pricking can lead to scarring.
TRY: Human Nature Coffee & Vanilla Body Scrub, P299.75, Human Nature
TRY: Schick Silk Effects Razor, P315, Watsons
2. Try a salicylic- or glycolic acid-infused soap or body wash
Salicylic and glycolic acids are well-known zit-zappers in the skincare community, but they can also help combat pimples and fade dark spots on your legs. Salicylic acid penetrates pores to combat oil production, while glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal brighter skin underneath.
To get rid of dark spots, try washing your legs with acid-based cleansers. Don’t do it everyday, though, as they can dry out your skin. For best results, use once or twice a week.
TRY: Oxecure Sulfur Soap, P89/30g and P249/100g, Shopee
3. Use a body moisturizer containing niacinamide
Certain cleansers can dry you out, so make sure to replenish your skin’s moisture with some lotion. If you want to speed up the fading process for your dark marks, look for products containing niacinamide.
Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is an antioxidant which helps even the skin’s complexion. It contains anti-inflammatory properties, helps minimize oil production, and reduces hyperpigmentation.
TRY: Snail White Body Booster, P449, Lazada
TRY: Cetaphil Bright Healthy Radiance Brightening Lotion, P990, Lazada
4. Or add Vitamin C to your skincare routine
An alternative to niacinamide is fellow antioxidant Vitamin C, another brightening ingredient. Also known as ascorbic acid, this skincare superpower inhibits melanin production. By speeding up skin cell turnover, it helps repair the skin from damage caused by too much exposure to the sun.
Bonus: it promotes collagen production, improving elasticity and giving you firm, youthful skin.
TRY: The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion, P1,295, The Body Shop
5. Never forget to apply SPF
Sunscreen isn’t just for beach days. Make it a habit to lather on the SPF whenever you go out. Dark spots aside, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause a myriad of problems, including skin cancer and premature aging.
READ MORE ABOUT SKINCARE FOR YOUR LEGS
Apply a liberal amount to your whole body—and don’t forget easy-to-miss spots such as the ankles and backs of the knees. Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30.
TRY: Nivea Sun Protect & White Body Lotion, P579, Shopee