Hyperpigmentation: Treatment, Types, and Causes
Have you ever wondered what causes those dark brown spots and how you might be able to treat them? We are going to give some quick tips on hyperpigmentation (and also a new product hint!).
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by increased melanin and it’s actually quite common. If you have it, you may notice patches on the skin that don’t seem to match your normal skin colour.
So what is melanin and how does this affect our body? It helps protect the body from the effect of ultraviolet (UV) by producing a brownish pigment (also known as that glowy tan). However, when these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production.
What causes it?
- Sun Exposure: If you’re not a huge SPF lover like us, you may start to see spots appear which is a result of damaged skin cells from radiation.
- Genetics: Just like acne, some people are more prone to hyperpigmentation.
- Ageing: As we get older, our skin cells become less capable of producing the right amount of melanin or regenerating correctly.
- Inflammation: Hyperpigmentation tends to represent damage or inflammation. Once the skin senses this, the cells will produce brown melanin pigment as part of an immune response. Inflammation can be caused by UV damage, acne spots and breakouts or harsh chemicals on the skin.
- Medical Conditions: More serious cases of hyperpigmentation include Addison’s disease, hyperthyroidism, or hemochromatosis.
- Reactions to drug use: Certain medications can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.
- Melasma: This can form when experiencing hormonal changes. This type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy.
Can you avoid it?
Prevention is better than cure! Make sure to wear SPF daily (50+ would be ideal). This will help to prevent UV damage-induced pigmentation. With that in mind, be mindful of products that will increase your sun sensitivity.
How do we treat this naturally?
So what is the secret to an even skin tone? In some cases, cleaning out pores and providing your skin with vitamins and nutrients can help balance melanin production.
Chemical Peels: These are specifically designed to smooth the complexion, reduce wrinkles, discoloured skin, and scars. They reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by removing the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing fresh new skin.
Serums: Look for serums packed with antioxidants and skin brightening agents that will protect your skin from free radicals. Our Glow Serum is formulated with a Vitamin C Complex + multi-weight Hyaluronic Acid that will hydrate, brighten and firm the skin!
Masks: Clay masks help to draw out impurities and reduce redness and irritation which in turn lights the appearance of dark spots on the skin.
Natural ingredients to look for
Use products that include pigment-stabilizing ingredients like L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C!). Vitamin C plays a key role in building and maintaining the skin’s defence:
- It’s an antioxidant that helps to protect against free radicals and UV which contribute to skin damage.
- Helps to calm inflammation that can cause hyperpigmentation.
- Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase which regulates melanin production, making it an effective skin-lightening agent.
Look for an anti-wrinkle and pigmentation-fighting ingredient? To treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, and other factors that contribute to a dull and uneven complexion, lactic acid is your go-to!
Rich in antioxidants, Liquorice Root interrupts the enzyme (tyrosinase) that activates melanin production (just like Vitamin C!), making it a natural skin whitening agent. It prevents future hyperpigmentation while improving existing dark spots on your skin.
Bakuchiol (natural retinol alternative)
Bakuchiol speeds up cell turnover. It also evens skin tone by deeply penetrating the skin to help lessen dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation.
This isn’t an overnight fix
Although we may like it to be, successful hyperpigmentation treatment will take consistency and time. It may even take up to a few months to see improvements. Looking for an exfoliant that can assist with hyperpigmentation but not sure which might be the best for you? Read our blog ‘Which Is Better: Chemical or Physical?’
Are you in need of powerful face oil to help smooth the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and assist with hyperpigmentation? Read more about our Renew Serum.