In this article we discuss hyperpigmentation, what it is, how it’s caused, and how best to treat it.
What is hyperpigmentation?
hyperpigmentation is a broad umbrella term to describe dark spots (excess pigmentation) and uneven skin tone. It is usually harmless and can occur after acne or injury (dark scarring), during pregnancy (thanks, hormones), from melasma or just naturally with age and sun exposure.
Nearly all of us will experience it at some point in our lives, and for some of us, it’ll be a constant plague. The good news is that your skincare routine can effectively treat and in certain cases, vanquish Hyperpigmentation for good!
Prevention is better than cure
There are a couple of things you can do to prevent Hyperpigmentation, or stop it from becoming worse.
One of the most important of these is wearing SPF, even on cloudy days. Sunscreen is critical to your skin’s health for a number of reasons. Excess sun exposure and skipping sunscreen prematurely ages your skin, produces sun spots, and darkens existing pigmentation.
The other is to avoid picking at your face. This includes zits – which are so tempting to fiddle with. We’ve all been there! However, picking at scabs and pimples can cause permanent scarring and dark spots.
Good skincare can even out patchy skin
There are plenty of skincare ingredients that effectively treat Hyperpigmentation. Not all of them are suitable for everyone but here’s a table of the most common solutions, which skin types are a good fit.
What it does:
Not suitable for:
Significantly diminishes the appearance blemishes and evens out skin tone.
Even sensitive skin can benefit from using azelaic acid, as it can actually reduce skin sensitivity!
• AHAs exfoliate surface-level skin, and is effective on light acne scars. • AHAs include lactic acid, glycolic acid and mandelic acid.
Surface level scars and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (i.e. acne scarring).
• Pregnant women. • You also have to be careful because if your retinol causes redness or irritation, it could trigger instead of treat your hyperpigmentation! • Dry and sensitive skin can still safely use retinol, but start with a low concentration (0.1%).
The glow maker! Vitamin C will brighten dark spots and protect against UV damage. It can significantly fade hyperpigmentation after ~2 months of consistent use.
• Everyone. Just be aware it is a notoriously unstable ingredient.
• Sunlight, air and heat cause oxidization - so store in a dark, cool place with the bottle tightly sealed (or in the fridge).
For people who are severely allergy-prone, niacinamide might not do you any favours as it can cause the body to release histamine. However, this isn't common (patch test first).
It's strange how some really great skincare ingredients fly under the radar. This peptide is one of the best skin brightening ingredients, even more so than Vitamin C. It provides almost instant results.
Note that heat can degrade the effectiveness of this ingredient, so make sure to store your arbutin product in a cool, dry place.
A solid moisturizer
• A great moisturizer (think glycerin, sunflower oil, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid) is the cherry on the top of a great hyperpigmentation routine. • dry skin exacerbates dark spots and flaking. • Keeping your skin hydrated will promote a smooth, even skin-tone.
What does an eye cream do? Well, it pretty much does what a moisturizer would. It can hydrate, soothe, treat fine lines, hyperpigmentation, etc. So do eye creams really make a difference? And is an eye cream really better than moisturizer for your face? The answer is, they can indeed make a difference to your skin AND they can be better.
Let's talk the top 10 retinol serums in Australia for every skin type! When it comes to aging skin, acne or just overall rejuvenation, retinol can work like a charm. Here we discuss what retinol does to your skin, whether or not it is good to use retinol everyday, and what are the disadvantages of retinol.