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How to Get Rid of Dark Spots According to a Dermatologist

Singapore Dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, explains the common causes of hyperpigmentation in the Eucerin x Guardian Facebook Live. She shares the scientific research on dermocosmetic ingredient Thiamidol, which Eucerin holds the patent for and incorporates in their Spotless Brightening Booster Serum. This is clinically proven to reduce dark spots by up to 75% without laser treatment when applied twice daily.

The following is an excerpt from the Facebook Live session, where Dr. Teo Wan Lin shares her expertise as a dermatologist practicing in Singapore – where there is high levels of UV radiation year round. Dark spots are a common concern of many individuals. Dr. Teo shares about the reason why dark spots develop, as well as treatment options.

“The reason why dark spots form especially when we grow older, specifically after the age of 25, is because of biological aging and photoaging, which means that the ultraviolet rays from the sun activates melanocytes in a way that our natural body cannot cope with the processes that help to keep our skin tone even. This is when dark spots start to form,” Dr. Teo. She also shares with Jia En, the host of the Facebook Live event, and Victoria Cheng, the co-host, the benefits of active ingredient Thiamidol and how it works in dark spot treatment.

Dr Teo: Hello everyone, Victoria and Jia En. Hope to share more on dark spots and hyperpigmentation with you today.

Host: Welcome back! Glad to have you here. Oh Victoria, I must say, your complexion is really good! We must talk more about that later. Now what is the answer to bidding goodbye to our dark spots? The answer is a simple and effective solution: the new and improved Eucerin Spotless Brightening Booster Serum. Now, Victoria, let’s get back to it. You have really good skin! What’s your secret?

Victoria: You’re too kind! It has not always been like this. In fact, for a long time, I was worried about my dark spots. I spent many years trying different products but there were no improvements at all!

Host: I can totally relate. What’s more is that in Singapore, it is always bright and sunny here. We are always under the sun and constantly exposed to UV.

Victoria: Yes! I spend a lot of time outdoors – I walk my dogs, go for my workouts and long boarding, even my exhibitions too. I do believe I developed dark spots because of overexposure from these activities.

Effect of UV rays on the skin

Host: I totally understand! I also love cycling and that puts me under the sun a lot too. Let’s hear from Dr. Teo. What happens when our skin is constantly exposed to the sun?

Dr. Teo: Skin is naturally imbued with melanin, which is photoprotective. It protects us from harmful UV rays. When we grow older, this melanin functions similarly – when we are exposed to UV light, it activates the melanocytes, the cells to produce melanin to cause immediate darkening and also delayed darkening process known as tanning. But the reason why dark spots form in older people, and not in younger people, is because the cells, when you’re older, can no longer repair at the same rate as the younger cells. So, in medical terms we call this oxidative stress.

How do dark spots form?

Host: Dr. Teo, you also mentioned that melanin is naturally imbued in us and if it protects us, why does it cause dark spots?

Dr. Teo: Like most things, too much of a good thing can be bad. When our bodies are overexposed to the sun, they too overproduce melanin which causes hyperpigmentation. This is what causes dark spots. While there are other factors that can influence the production of melanin, the sun remains the number one cause in hyperpigmentation.

Host: This is really good knowledge. So I would think that it’s important to keep up a skincare routine so that we can keep dark spots at bay?

How to prevent chronic sun exposure

Dr. Teo: I think it’s also important to understand first of all, the process of sun induced skin aging and skin pigmentation darkening. And also the process of biological aging, simply because we are growing older. A proper skincare routine can maintain skin health. That means that it makes yourself more resilient to these external environmental stresses, for example, chronic sun exposure.

Host: I’m really learning a lot today! So by understanding and having that awareness of how our skin react to the sun and aging, we can then understand that it’s more important than ever to make our skin resilient to all these stresses. How about you Victoria? What do you think?

Victoria: I totally agree with Dr. Teo. I knew things would go out of hand if I did not find a solution quickly. I think it is also important to me to find a skincare routine that I can believe in! Luckily, I found Eucerin Spotless Brightening Booster Serum to be very effective for me. That is why I’m here to share more with you guys out there.

Host: That’s great to hear! But I’m curious now. Out of all the possible solutions and brands out there, what made you take that first step to use the product?

Victoria: I was researching solutions and got to know about the Booster Serum a bit. I learned that Eucerin spent a lot of time on research, and they tested more than 50,000 ingredients to find a treatment for dark spots. That was how they found Thiamidol, one of the active ingredients in the serum.

What is Thiamidol and how does it work for Dark Spots?

Dr. Teo: Thiamidol is what we call an inhibitor. Specifically, it inhibits an enzyme known as tyrosinase, which is an important enzyme in the process of pigment formation. In this case, based on the clinical studies and research conducted by Eucerin, patented Thiamidol was the most potent tyrosinase inhibitor amongst 50,000 tested active compounds. It is important to recognize that it works directly at the root cause of pigmentation.

Host: That’s very interesting to know! This sounds like Thiamidol is a very effective ingredient. In fact, I think most of us would be thinking if this highly effective ingredient will be safe for our skin. Could you share more with us, Dr. Teo?

dark spots hyperpigmentation treatment

The Eucerin Spotless Brightening Booster Serum is a light emulsion that helps to reduce dark spots while renewing the skin’s look. It contains Thiamidol, an effective ingredient that acts at the root cause of hyperpigmentation that prevents its re-appearance with regular usage.

Is it safe to apply Thiamidol on sensitive skin?

Dr. Teo: That is a very important consideration because a lot of tyrosinase inhibitors and other cosmeceuticals are actually quite irritating for your skin. Even if you do not have sensitive skin, I have seen individuals who develop sensitivity after using some of these tyrosinase inhibitors. The great thing about Thiamidol, it is actually a highly tolerable active ingredient. This means that it is very safe and gentle, even for individuals with individuals with pre-existing sensitive skin.

Host: Happy to hear about that! Not only Thiamidol is effective but it is also tolerable and safe! So really, I understand why Victoria trusts it so much. Victoria, you’ve been using the product for a while now right, what is your experience like?

Spotless Brightening Serum for Dark Spots

Victoria: Yes, I’ve been using the product for a while now. I can tell it is gentle as I don’t have any reactions to it. The texture is pretty lightweight as well and I could feel it instantly absorbed into the skin. I think I saw some comments saying they’ve used the serum before. There was a dual chamber version and now this booster serum is a new and improved version. It is now in a mono-chamber bottle because it now combines two active agents in a single chamber delivery. And it gives you the precise amounts as well. So it’s really convenient.

Host: You heard it from a user, viewers! Gentle, lightweight and absorbent – all really good qualities. I want to add as well, that the Spotless Brightening Booster Serum has a pro-brightening effect. This helps to escalate protection on skin cell damage and prevents dark spots from coming back. Also, the new packaging is more sustainable which means that it is recyclable! You can protect your skin while using an effective product in an environment friendly packaging.

Tips on preventing dark spots from reappearing

Host: Alright, so since we have learnt so much about the formation of dark spots and how the Booster Serum can help us prevent them, I’m sure you would want to know some tips to prevent dark spots from reappearing. Let us get Dr. Teo to share some tips with us on how to prevent dark spots from reappearing.

Dr. Teo: It is important to understand why certain individuals are more prone to getting dark spots as they get past a certain age. It is a combination of your genetics as well as your lifestyle. In terms of your lifestyle, I guess if you can practice some safe management and lifestyle interventions that would reduce our exposures to the sun, then it would be beneficial for us. You cannot avoid the sun from 9am to 5pm in a tropical country like Singapore where we are right on the equator – we actually have a hundred percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays concentrated throughout a long period during the daytime.

I think that we would be able to implement all these in an ideal world. But on a personal level, I feel that we can just pay a bit more attention to our skincare regimen. Respecting the skin as an organ helps us in being a key motivation to have a good skincare regimen that incorporates sunscreen. Reapplication of sunscreen every two to three hours and even more frequently when you are doing water sports. Looking out for ingredients that can combat the onset of dark spots. All these will go a long way if started early.

What makes a good skincare routine

Host: That’s good to know! These are like some deterrence tips but how about skincare routine? What is a good one in your opinion?

Dr. Teo: In an ideal world, we would be able to do everything that is good for us. But realistically, it is best to simplify your skincare regimen so that you can stick to it. It should also be intuitive so you do not need to look through a list everyday before you know what to do. Breaking it down, a helpful approach would be first of all, cleansing must not be neglected, because it is the basis for whatever products you want to apply on your skin for it to be absorbed. The other thing of course is we know there is a balance of good and bad bacteria on the skin, what we call the skin microbiome, so that is very important in terms of supporting your overall skin health.

How to prevent photodamage

Moving on to the other steps in your skincare routine, we must not forget that we are trying to reduce oxidative stress, which translates into damage of your skin. When you see dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, all these are signs of photo damage. The way we can counteract that is with a preventive skincare regimen, an antioxidant serum and something which in this case we have spoken about that prevents the tyrosinase enzymes from activating and causing more melanin production, hence the appearance of dark spots is a tyrosinase inhibitor Thiamidol. Finally, we know that all these are supportive of a healthy skin environment. We must not forget the importance of a good skin barrier, which protects us from the external environment, and that is really a good moisturizer.

Host: Thank you, doctor! So a simple, intuitive and convenient skin care routine with products that can really support us to have a healthy skin environment. What are your thoughts on it, Victoria?

Victoria: I really agree with what Dr. Teo is saying. Skincare routines need to be effective and simple enough to follow through. That is why I love the Eucerin Spotless Brightening range. The skincare regime is not complex and seeing the results makes me even more diligent in applying my skincare daily.

Dr. Teo: I think you have said it very well, Victoria. As a woman, and of course I am a dermatologist, I feel that fundamentally, whatever we are comfortable with, we will consistently do. So I think that is also the key thing when we are talking about skincare regimens. If you pare all of that down to just the basics, we have cleansing, application of antioxidant serums, or lotions, moisturizer and sunblock.

SPF and Sun Exposure

Victoria: As a routine, I always use the Cleansing Foam as my first step, followed by the Booster Serum and Day Fluid in the day.

Host: You mentioned the Day Fluid, it is actually SPF30. I’ve always wondered about SPF values. I’ve always wondered about SPF values. Dr. Teo, can you share with us more about SPF?

Dr. Teo: The term SPF actually stands for sun protection factor. It tells us how much a product offers to protect our skin from UVB rays. The value indicates it takes the sun 30 times longer to burn our skin. So it will be more than enough when you use this. It will already prevent 97% of the sun’s radiation from penetrating into the skin. Typically, it is fully effective for two hours after you put it in. So you’ll need to reapply if you’re out in the sun longer than that.

Host: Now I know! Hearing your explanation. It seems like Victoria’s regime is quite a comprehensive prevention and protection regime.

Summing up

Dr. Teo: Yes it is, well done, Victoria! Many people may think that once the dark spots are gone then they are ‘safe’. But the truth is, the production of melanin will always happen when we expose ourselves to sunlight. It’s best to protect our skin all the time and prevent skin ailments from happening.

Host: Victoria, Dr. Teo, thank you so much for your time here today. I really learned a lot today! We have come to the end of our live chat. Remember to buy now to enjoy the promotion at Guardian! Thank you, viewers, for your participation. Follow the Eucerin Facebook page and look out for our next live chats. See you soon!

Dr. Teo has a series of articles and podcasts related to the topic of skin brightening, as well as attitudes towards whitening in Asian beauty trends.

Dr. Teo Wan Lin is an accredited dermatologist practicing in TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre. If you have concerns about skin pigmentation, you may book an appointment here.