Top 5 Ingredients for Sun Damage and Discoloration


Top 5 Ingredients for Sun Damage and Discoloration

Seeing spots? Here are the most effective ingredients for dealing with sun damage.



3 MIN READ | APRIL 6, 2021


Anya is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, focused on product development at the intersection of beauty and biotechnology.

If there’s one skincare resource that’s gotten a lot of hype recently, it’s sunscreen. For good reason: UV radiation is one of the leading causes of skin aging. For preventative purposes, sunscreen is a must-have — but what happens if you’re already noticing the effects of sun damage on your skin? 

According to our user database, 18% of Atolla subscribers list discoloration and spots as their main concern. Our dermatologist co-founder and team of chemists have curated a list of highly effective, research-backed ingredients to address sun damage. Here are what we’ve found work best: 

  • Rosehip Oil: A healing oil containing antioxidants and fatty acids that help target discoloration while hydrating the skin. Key components include Vitamins A and B3, which can also stimulate skin cell reproduction.
  • Diacetyl Boldine: A tree bark extract that targets discoloration and can help inhibit the production of new pigment. It’s also an antioxidant, which means it can help neutralize free radicals from sunlight to protect from further sun damage.
  • Vitamin C: A popular ingredient for us, as it’s effective at targeting darker spots. When it’s applied to the skin, it can have an anti-inflammatory effect, help reduce sun damage through antioxidant effects, and stimulate collagen synthesis and DNA repair from sun damage.
  • Alpha Arbutin: A plant-based antioxidant that naturally slows down melanin development without being harmful to cells or cell functions, and can help brighten the appearance of uneven spots.
  • Rumex Occidentalis Extract: A plant extract that soothes irritated skin and helps improve skin radiance. Like a few of the other ingredients mentioned, it can help inhibit the overproduction of melanin.

So how do you incorporate these ingredients into your skincare routine? Although you can use antioxidants in the morning or night to help prevent hyperpigmentation and wrinkling, Vitamin C can be sensitizing and less beneficial if used with many other active ingredients. Using the product interaction module on your Atolla dashboard can help you figure out how to best combine and layer the products in your current routine.


  1. Dermstore: 9 Natural Brightening Alternatives to Hydroquinone
  2. Oregon State University: Vitamin C and Skin Health
  3. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology: The Tricky Tear Trough: A Review of Topical Cosmeceuticals for Periorbital Skin Rejuvenation

Simplify your skincare with a custom, complementary routine.

Scroll to Top