Nora is a writer and consultant working with sustainable brands to make an impact. In 2022, she founded Mossy Copy, LLC, a full-service copy studio based in Austin, TX. Her master’s in English is from NYU, and her bachelor’s in the same is from Sewanee. Areas of expertise include wellness, nutrition, style, and beauty.

Stubborn, often mysterious dark spots can be left behind on your sensitive skin as the mark of acne, cuts, and tears, or oxidative aging. If you’ve noticed this discoloration, you’re in good company. Also known as hyperpigmentation, dark spots can be a mark of skin distress and a source of frustration for many people. Below, you’ll read about the role of vitamins in treating dark spots and promoting healthy skin, as well as some topicals you can incorporate into your ritual to reduce the appearance of dark spots.

What Causes Dark Spots on Skin?

Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Sun damage: Exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can cause your radiant skin to make more melanin, a dark brown or black pigment, and this can result in dark spots (also known as sun spots) .
  • Acne: Pimples can leave behind dark spots on the skin long after the initial blemish has left town, especially if the acne is severe or not properly treated.
  • Injuries: In addition to acne wounds, other injuries like cuts and burns can leave behind pigmented areas as the sensitive skin heals.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes like those during pregnancy or hormonal birth control pills can cause dark spots on the skin.
  • Age: As we lose collagen with stress and age, our skin cells loses its ability to regenerate quickly, which can result in dark spots.
  • Medications: Certain meds like antibiotics can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.
  • Genetics: Sometimes, your DNA may play a role in your likeliness of developing dark spots.

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots?

Whether or not you’re able to pin down the root cause of your dark spots, there are ways you can address them both on the surface of your radiant skin and from within. Treatment for dark spots depends on the cause and severity of the hyperpigmentation. Some options include topical creams or types of serums containing active brightening ingredients. It’s always important to talk to your dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for your skin type.

5 Vitamins for Dark Spots

Skin health is as much a result of internal health as it is of external care. In order to treat skin from within to help improve the appearance of dark spots, here are 5 vitamins for dark spots to consider consuming in your diet and supplements.

1. Vitamin A

This vitamin, which you might know as Retinol, helps to promote cell turnover, which can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

By accelerating the shedding of dead skin cells, Vitamin A can reveal fresh, new healthy skin that is less likely to have dark spots or hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin A also helps to improve the overall texture and tone of the skin, leaving it smoother and more radiant. Foods high in A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and pumpkin.

2. Vitamin C

One of the top vitamins for reducing the appearance of dark spots on your skin is Vitamin C. This illuminating antioxidant helps to brighten the skin by blocking the production of uneven melanin. Vitamin C works by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for producing this pigment in excess, reducing the appearance of dark spots and promoting an even skin tone.

C is exogenous (your body doesn’t produce it), so you need to get it into your skin through diet or supplementation. Foods that contain an abundance of Vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, berries like strawberries and raspberries, kiwi, red bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Since it can be hard to ensure you’re getting adequate Vitamin C through food alone, consider supplementing as there are many benefits to investing in a vitamin c serum. SuperBeauty® beauty supplement is the master antioxidant formula for cell and skin health. This cellular beauty supplement combines Vitamin C with other antioxidants like Vitamin E (below) and Glutathione, which has many benefits such as being able to help protect from the effects of accelerated aging.

3. Vitamin E

E is another vitamin known for its ability to reduce the appearance of dark spots. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E can help protect the skin from environmental damage and free radicals, which can contribute to the development of dark spots. Vitamin E can also help to hydrate dry skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that can make dark spots more noticeable.

Vitamin E is richly available in foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, and avocado. And in addition to consuming Vitamins C and E, using a topical antioxidant powder like G Pack™ on the skin’s surface can support an even skin tone from the outside in.

4. Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as Niacinamide, can help reduce the appearance of dark spots by inhibiting the transfer of uneven excess melanin to the surface of the skin. This vitamin can also boost the skin's barrier function, helping to reduce inflammation and prevent future dark spots from forming.

Outside of animal foods, mushrooms can be a plant-based source of Vitamin B3. Silver Ear Mushroom in particular, contains bioavailable B3 and is prized for its many skin health benefits.

5. Vitamin B12

Finally, Vitamin B12 can help reduce the appearance of dark spots by regulating melanin production. This vitamin is involved in the production of DNA, which can help to regulate the activity of cells involved in melanin production. As a result, vitamin B12 can help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and promote a more even skin tone. Because B12 is primarily found in animal-derived foods, it’s important to supplement B12 as part of a plant-based diet.

Skin Care

Topical Treatments for Dark Spots

A holistic approach to skin health requires supplementing on the inside and outside. A topical antioxidant treatment powder like G Pack™ can get these ingredients into your face at an effective concentration. The first 50% Vitamin C and Glutathione antioxidant formula, it’s an innovative Vitamin C powder for skin, combining 50% Vitamin C, 10% Glutathione, and 3% Ferulic Acid to help visibly brighten an uneven skin tone, dark spots and melasma, assist with acne, and help fortify against damage from environmental toxins and oxidative stress.

Vitamin C and Glutathione work on two different layers of the cell — C on the plasma layer, and Glutathione, a tripeptide, on the mitochondria.

Also, an antioxidant, Ferulic Acid, helps stabilize and potentiate C.

In addition to these antioxidants, there are other notable ingredients that can help brighten your complexion and reduce hyperpigmentation directly from the surface of your skin. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid can help to chemically exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Incorporating these five vitamins into your daily routine can significantly improve the appearance of dark spots - for high-quality supplements, check out our selection at Moon Juice.

When using skin care products to address dark spots, it’s important to be patient — results can take time! Consistency is key when using vitamins, so be sure to take your supplements during your sleep routine and apply your topicals daily, or as directed. Additionally, you’ll want to take some preventative lifestyle measures, like limiting your exposure to harsh UV rays, as further sun damage can exacerbate your existing hyperpigmentation.