When we’re talking about hyperpigmentation, we’re referring to all types of skin discolouration including melasma, pigmentation from the inflammation from acne scarring and sun damage. It’s stubborn and it’s gonna take some werk.
Hyperpigmentation affects all skin types, shades and ages. In fact, the darker your skin tone the more risk you have of developing hyperpigmentation. You’ll see it show up as uneven skin tone, brown patches, dark spots and large, spattered freckles.
Here’s some background info: pigmentation occurs when melanocytes (the cells that cause melanin production) go into overdrive. Melanin is produced to protect skin from UV rays but too much can lead to dark pigment accruing in deep layers of skin. Genetics, hormones, medication and the environment are all key factors and key triggers.
The most common types of hyperpigmentation is Melasma, triggered by sun, heat and hormonal fluctuations, including during pregnancy, it causes splotchy brown patches to appear. .. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is another common type- where an increase in melanin occurs as an a result of an injury and inflammatory response. Lastly, sun exposure. This guy exacerbates all types of pigmentation, even causing freckles to darken and become bigger.
The good news is advances in skincare technology and innovation in ingredients have never been better, offering us a range of hard-working topicals and at-home solutions to choose from.
A hero antioxidant, it protects skin from free radical damage, while inhibiting the production of melanin and lightening existing pigmentation. Vitamin C should be part of your daily skincare routine. To find the right Vitamin C for you, read this.
Vitamin A and Bakuchiol
Nature’s version of Vitamin A, Backuchiol is a powerful antioxidant that suppresses melanocytes activity. Retinol or Vitamin A inhibits melanin synthesis while regulating cell turnover to help fade spots, use it only in the evening to help break up pigment clumps.AHAs and BHAs
These acids and actives work to chemically exfoliate and resurface skin to replace pigmented skin with new cells. They’re also key to brightening the complexion to help soften uneven skin tone. Your to-do list: read our guide to exfoliating.
Last, but absolutely not least: sunscreen and sun protection. Your best bet for preventing future pigmentation and making any existing hyperpigmentation worse. After all, prevention is always better (and cheaper) than cure. Sun protection encourages pigment to fade by blocking out UV rays – the stuff that holds on to and produces more pigment in skin.