Clear and flawless skin is the dream of any woman exposed to the carefully lit, made-up and airbrushed examples on magazine covers, but real life is rarely so perfect. Fading dark spots can be done at home, but it involves bleaching your skin with harsh chemicals. Natural remedies like organic shea butter can help make skin supple and soft, but they are not much help in fading dark spots.
What Causes Dark Spots?
Dark spots can be caused by many things, but the usual causes are sun exposure and aging. Small spots called liver spots may appear on your face, hands, back and the tops of your feet. These are caused by sunlight. Harmless, tiny red dots called cherry angiomas often appear after you turn 30, but according to the University of Southern California Health Center, no one knows why. Other dark spots can be harmless, but they can also be caused by the cell damage that leads to skin cancer.
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter comes from the nut of the shea tree and has been made by African women for centuries. Shea butter has antibacterial and antifungal properties, but it has no known effect on dark spots. Though they come from trees, shea nuts aren’t considered “tree nuts.” People with allergies to peanuts and other tree nuts are not usually allergic to shea butter, but check with your doctor before using it if you have a tree nut allergy. Shea butter doesn't protect you from UV rays, so it can't help prevent dark spots.
How Do I Know It’s Organic?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the use of the word “organic” on cosmetics and skin-care products, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture does. Products that meet USDA standards carry a label that not only has the word “organic” in it, but the name and address of the agent who certified the product. Shea butter that has less than 70 percent of organic ingredients can’t use the word “organic” on the label and won’t have the agent’s name and address. Contact the manufacturer if you have specific questions about where and how the shea butter was made.
Most dark spots on your skin are the harmless result of being in the sun or of aging. But sometimes they are the first signs of a more serious condition such as skin cancer. If you have dark spots that grow, change, cause pain or bleed, consult your health care provider immediately.