Acne and Mental Health

12 Dark Areas on Darker Skin Tones: Causes and Solutions

FAQs: What are the main areas for dark spots in darker skin tones?

Dark Neck (Acanthosis Nigricans), Inner Thighs, Elbows, Knees, Chest, Underarms, Forehead and Cheeks, Hands, Feet, Back, Shoulders, Bikini Area, Around the Eyes, Around the Lips.

Why Darker Skin Tones?

When it comes to skincare, individuals with darker skin tones face unique challenges and concerns. One common issue is the appearance of dark areas or spots on the skin (face and body).

These dark spots can be a source of frustration, often affecting self-confidence and how we feel about our skin. But what causes these dark areas, and more importantly, how can we get rid of them for good?

Here we quickly jump into the most common dark areas observed in darker skin tones, exploring their causes and offering effective solutions to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

Hyperpigmentation: An Overview

Hyperpigmentation is a term that many of us have heard, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, hyperpigmentation occurs when certain areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin.

This happens because of an excess production of melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color. For those with darker skin tones, hyperpigmentation can be more pronounced due to the naturally higher levels of melanin.

Several factors can trigger hyperpigmentation, including sun exposure, hormonal changes (such as those experienced during pregnancy), and injury to the skin, including acne scars and other forms of inflammation.

Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial. VOUEE’s Moisturiser with SPF for Dark Skin Tones is designed specifically to nourish and protect melanin-rich skin, offering a layer of defense against sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

1. Acne Scars

For many of us, acne is a temporary inconvenience; but it can also leave lasting marks on our skin. When acne heals, it can leave dark spots known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is particularly common in darker skin tones, where the spots can appear more pronounced.

The key to dealing with acne scars is to prevent acne in the first place and to treat existing acne gently but effectively. Gentle exfoliation can help, as can products that promote skin renewal. VOUEE’s Gentle Face Cleanser with AHA, BHA, PHA offers a delicate yet effective solution, helping to clear away dead skin cells and promote a more even skin tone.

2. Forehead and Cheeks

  • Cause: Hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure or hormonal changes.
  • Solution: Protect your skin by using sunscreen daily. Incorporate brightening serums with ingredients like vitamin C into your skincare routine. Products like VOUEE’s Correct and Boost for hyperpigmentation are formulated with potent ingredients designed to lighten dark spots without harming your skin’s natural balance.

3. Underarms

  • Cause: Friction, shaving, or using harsh deodorants can lead to darkening.
  • Solution: Switch to gentle deodorants to minimize irritation. Exfoliate the area regularly with gentle products and moisturize with soothing ingredients to help reduce darkness and improve skin texture.

4. Chest

  • Cause: This area is prone to sun damage, aging, or hormonal changes, leading to dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Solution: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. Use creams formulated with retinol or hyaluronic acid to encourage cell turnover and hydration, improving the overall appearance of the skin.

5. Dark Elbows and Knees

Many people notice that the skin on their elbows and knees is darker than the rest of their body. This common condition is usually due to increased pigmentation caused by friction or pressure on these areas. It’s more noticeable in darker skin tones due to the higher melanin content.

The solution lies in gentle exfoliation and deep moisturization. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth, while moisturizing keeps the skin hydrated and healthy. Look for products with natural exfoliating acids, like the ones found in VOUEE’s Gentle Face Cleanser with AHA, BHA, PHA, which can also be applied to these areas to help lighten the skin.

Follow up with a deep moisturizer to keep the skin soft and supple.

  • Cause: The thickened skin due to friction or dryness can become darker than the surrounding areas.
  • Solution: Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, while moisturizing with shea butter or coconut oil provides deep hydration, helping to lighten and smooth the skin.

6. Inner Thighs

  • Cause: Darkening can be caused by friction, sweating, or hormonal changes.
  • Solution: Opt for breathable fabrics to minimize sweating and friction. Anti-chafing creams can protect the skin, and keeping the area dry will help prevent darkening.

7. Hands and Feet

  • Cause: These areas are vulnerable to dryness, sun exposure, and the effects of aging, all of which can contribute to dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Solution: Moisturize your hands and feet daily with nourishing creams. When doing household chores or gardening, wear gloves to protect your skin from harsh chemicals and sun damage.

8. Back and Shoulders

  • Cause: Acne, sun damage, or genetics can lead to dark spots and areas on the back and shoulders.
  • Solution: Use an acne-fighting body wash designed for sensitive skin to help clear breakouts. Gently exfoliate to prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores, and apply body acne treatments to affected areas to reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

9. Bikini Area

  • Cause: Darkening in this sensitive area can be due to ingrown hairs, shaving irritation, or hormonal changes.
  • Solution: To minimize irritation, avoid tight clothing, exfoliate gently before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs, and use soothing creams to calm the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Wear cotton underpants.

10. Around the Eyes

Dark under-eye circles are a common concern among individuals with darker skin tones. They can be caused by genetics, lack of sleep, aging, or even dehydration.

These circles are more pronounced in melanin-rich skin, giving the appearance of being tired or unwell.

Addressing under-eye circles involves a combination of hydration, proper sleep, and targeted skincare products. Look for eye creams or serums rich in vitamin C, which can help to brighten the under-eye area and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Additionally, ensuring you drink enough water and get adequate sleep can help to improve the overall appearance of the under-eye area.

  • Cause: Dark circles can result from genetics, lack of sleep, or allergies.
  • Solution: Ensure you get enough rest each night and consider using eye creams that contain peptides or caffeine. These ingredients can help reduce puffiness and the appearance of dark circles, giving you a more refreshed look.

11. Lips

  • Cause: Factors like sun exposure, dehydration, or smoking can lead to darkened lips.
  • Solution: Protect your lips from the sun by applying a lip balm with SPF. Stay hydrated to prevent dryness, and consider quitting smoking to improve the health and appearance of your lips.

12. Dark Neck (Acanthosis Nigricans)

Acanthosis nigricans is a condition characterized by the darkening and thickening of the skin, particularly around the neck, groin, and underarm areas. It can be a sign of insulin resistance or other underlying health conditions. In individuals with darker skin tones, this condition can be more pronounced and noticeable.

Managing acanthosis nigricans involves addressing the underlying health issues with the help of a healthcare provider.

Topically, gentle skincare routines focusing on hydration and mild exfoliation can help improve the appearance of the skin. Using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin can help maintain skin health without causing irritation.

By understanding the causes behind these common dark areas and adopting suitable skincare routines, individuals with darker skin tones can achieve healthier, more even-toned skin.

It’s important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Regular use of targeted products, like those from VOUEE, specifically designed for melanin-rich skin, can significantly contribute to reducing the appearance of dark spots and areas, leading to a radiant and confident complexion.

Preventative Measures and Lifestyle Tips

Prevention plays a crucial role in managing dark spots and maintaining even skin tone, especially for darker skin tones. Here are several preventative measures and lifestyle tips to help protect and nurture your skin:

Sun Protection: The importance of sunscreen cannot be overstated. UV exposure can exacerbate hyperpigmentation issues.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen like VOUEE’s Ututu Moisturiser with SPF for Dark Skin Tones daily, even on cloudy days or when indoors, as UV rays can penetrate windows.

Gentle Skin Care: Avoid harsh physical scrubs or aggressive exfoliation, which can irritate the skin and lead to darkening.

Instead, opt for gentle exfoliants like those found in VOUEE’s Gentle Face Cleanser with AHA, BHA, PHA, which are designed to safely remove dead skin cells without causing damage.

Healthy Diet and Hydration: What you eat affects your skin’s health. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, alongside ample water intake, can support skin health and prevent dark spots.

Avoid Direct Heat Exposure: Besides sun exposure, direct heat (from hairstyling tools, for example) can also contribute to melanin production and dark spots. Try to minimize direct heat exposure to the face and skin as much as possible.

Consistent Skin Care Routine: Establishing a skincare routine tailored to your skin’s needs is essential. Incorporate products that address hyperpigmentation and are formulated for melanin-rich skin. Consistency is key to seeing results over time.

Should I See a Dermatologist

While many cases of hyperpigmentation can be managed with over-the-counter products and lifestyle adjustments, there are times when professional help is necessary:

  • Persistent Hyperpigmentation: If dark spots or areas do not improve with consistent home care over several months, a dermatologist can offer more potent treatments or prescribe medications.
  • Unusual Changes in the Skin: Any sudden changes in the skin, such as new or rapidly darkening spots, should be evaluated by a professional to rule out serious conditions.
  • Identification of the Underlying Cause: Some skin conditions, like melasma or acanthosis nigricans, might require a specialized treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause. A dermatologist can provide a tailored approach to managing these conditions effectively.


Managing dark areas and spots on darker skin tones requires a combination of preventive measures, targeted skincare products, and sometimes professional intervention.

Understanding the causes of these concerns and adopting a comprehensive skincare routine can significantly improve the skin’s appearance and health.

Products like VOUEE’s Gentle Face Cleanser and Ututu Moisturiser with SPF for Dark Skin Tones are formulated to address the unique needs of melanin-rich skin, offering solutions that nourish, protect, and even out skin tone.

Remember, every skin is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Patience and consistency with your skincare routine, alongside regular check-ups with a dermatologist when necessary, are key to achieving and maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

Celebrate your skin’s natural beauty by taking the steps needed to care for it, ensuring it remains healthy and vibrant for years to come.