Have you noticed darker spots on your body or your face? Or a general unevenness in your skin? This could be indicative of hyperpigmentation. This is a term used to describe skin that appears darker in places than the usual surrounding area of skin. It can appear in form of dark spots, age spots melasma, discoloration patches and dark marks. These are usually brown or black marks that can cover a small precise area or large patches. The darkening happens when excess melanin deposits on the skin.
There are few reasons this can happen to your skin…
Hyperpigmentation tends to occur more in darker skin tones than in fairer skin tones. Those of Asian/ brown skin also tend to experience melasma.
Sometimes when you over exfoliate or use products that may be harsher or too strong they can lead to darkening of the skin as it is trying to heal.
A change in the hormonal composition of your body due to treatments or pregnancy can also trigger darkening of the skin.
UVB rays can cause sunburns which may cause darkening of the skin while UVA rays are primarily responsible for tanning that can also make dark spots even darker. Visible light also can contribute to hyperpigmentation.
Other factors can be certain medication, skin injuries and the resultant healing process and long exposure to heat and saunas.
So what can you do about it?
The best way to tackle hyperpigmentation is to prevent it. You can do this by applying and reapplying sunscreen. Since UV rays are the biggest cause of hyperpigmentation, using a sunscreen that is spf 50+ is one of the primary ways to achieve this. It will also ensure that the dark marks are not getting darker.
These are ingredients that regulate excessive melanin production which in turn leave the dark spots looking a lot brighter e.g vitamin c, niacinamide and azelaic acid. They generally help to achieve a more even skin tone.
Since your skin continuously sheds every 28 days, these ingredients help the process to happen a lot quicker. With cell turn over the dead skin and upper layer of the skin are shed to make way for fresh new skin, this causes the dark marks to fade better.
4. Barrier support
Ensuring not to irritate your skin means you will not give space for hyperpigmentation to occur or get worse. Including ingredients that are moisturizing like hyaluronic acids or nourishing ingredients like ceramides greatly help in keeping your skin healthy and free from hyperpigmentation.
Helping your skin to get rid of excessive dead skin cells can also help you achieve brightness and the coveted glow. Using physical exfoliants like gentle scrubs or exfoliating acids can help you achieve brighter skin. (remember not to overdo it otherwise you may be creating the very problem you are trying to solve.
Dealing with hyperpigmentation can definitely be a challenge, but with the right products its not an impossibility. Should you need any more support, consult your health care provider.