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If you’re still in your 20s, count yourself lucky: age spots aren’t a problem for you. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have pigmentation problems in future – dark spots on skin are, simply put, the result of melanin overproduction, so you don’t have to be old to get them.

Excess melanin production can be triggered by sun exposure, pregnancy, medication and inflammation caused by acne. Hyperpigmentation, particularly the brown spots left behind after a breakout, is a problem for many Asian women. You can hide the marks with concealer, or use a brightening serum to fade dark spots and make your complexion more luminous, but these methods don’t always get rid of them.

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The solution, as I’ve discovered recently, is to use a dedicated spot corrector. The new SK-II Whitening Power Spots Specialist ($176-$339), developed over five years, is said to lighten visible dark spots as well as prevent the formation of new ones by breaking down existing melanin at the surface of the skin and regulating melanin production.

The formulation combines the brand’s signature ingredient, sake-derived Pitera, with oat essence and other ingredients, and penetrates deep into skin to reduce inflammation. Th e serum also promises to reduce skin damage, which can trigger the formation of new spots.

So when I get a breakout now, I use this serum twice a day when the pimples are healing to reduce the likelihood of post-acne dark spots.

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SK-II Whitening Power Spots Specialist, $179-$339

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine September 2014.

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