how to Manage hyperpigmentation this summer
Explore any beauty or skincare aisle, and I am sure you will be bombarded with creams, and correctors that promise to even out your skin tone, reduce the appearance of imperfections and eliminate hyperpigmentation. However, to be able to combat this discolouration, it is important to understand exactly what it is, what causes it, how to target it with specific, effective skincare and skin treatments.
All of us should be committed to protecting our skin from harmful rays this season (and of course, all year round), thus we have created your ultimate guide to hyperpigmentation in summer.
This is your ultimate guide to hyperpigmentation in summer.
WHAT CAUSES HYPERPIGMENTATION?
THE CAUSES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION DEPENDS ON THE TYPE; THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION ARE:
The body produces more melanin to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to the sun. This can cause dark spots or patches on the skin called age spots or sun spots.
Areas of skin can darken after people have had inflammation of the skin. This can include any, eczema, lupus, or an injury to the skin. People with darker skin are more likely to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Darker patches of skin can form when people experience hormonal changes. It is particularly common among women and is thought to occur when the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone stimulate the production of melanin when skin is exposed to the sun. This type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy. It can also be triggered by certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, antimalarials and anti-seizure drugs.
In some cases, hyperpigmentation can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as Addison’s disease.
HYPERPIGMENTATION AND AGE
As skin ages, the number of melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) decreases but the remaining ones increase in size and their distribution becomes more focused. These physiological changes explain the increase in age spots in those over 40.
So, what is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin colour of people of any race. This is not permanent but it can last for quite some time, sometimes months or even years, especially in the presence of continuous sun exposure and if not steps are taken to prevent or treat this skin condition.
Hyperpigmentation is often referred to as ‘age spots’ or ‘sun spots’, but it can actually be caused by a number of factors, beyond sun damage.
TYPES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION
Before we start discussing the causes of hyperpigmentation, it is important to mention that there are several types of hyperpigmentation, each linked with a different cause and severity:
Melasma: this is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and may also develop during pregnancy. Areas of pigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
Sunspots: also can be referred to as liver spots or solar lentigines, sunspots are common. They are related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots on areas exposed to the sun.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: this is a result of injury or inflammation to the skin. A common cause of this type is acne.
Each of these has different causes and a range of treatments and products, including creams and cosmetic procedures.
How can hyperpigmentation be treated or prevented?
This is what we all want to know! Is it possible to completely prevent the onset of this skin condition? Can we get rid of it if it does develop? Read more to find out!
It is not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation.
HOWEVER, YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF BY:
Using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
Wearing hats or clothing that block sunlight
Avoiding the sun during the time of the day when it’s strongest, which is typically 10am to 4pm
Limit touching your face – scratching or picking a mosquito bite or spot can result in inflammation and lead to darker pigmentation on your skin, for example, when applying your skincare or makeup, make sure you wash your hands first.
why should you wear sunscreen everyday?
read our blog below to find out.
Sunscreen is the single most important factor in improving most cases of hyperpigmentation.
You should look for:
-Physical blocking sunscreen, preferably with zinc oxide as the main active ingredient
-SPF 30 to 50
Use sunscreen daily – reapply it every 2 hours if you are out in the sun – more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.
Niacinamide: also known as Vitamin B3, this powerful skincare ingredient has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and even skin tone.
Retinol: one of the most talked about ingredients of the decade, and retinol can be helpful in reducing the appearance of dark pigmentation spots by speeding up natural skin cell turnover.
Vitamin C: applying a product containing Vitamin C on your skin can help fade marks of hyperpigmentation for a more even-toned complexion.
Keep skin moist to boost cell turnover – this means you should invest in a good, nourishing and hydrating moisturiser! While your primary goal with hyperpigmentation is to lighten the dark spots, it is extremely useful to utilise products that contain ingredients that benefit the skin; moisturising agents such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin to boost cell turnover. These inactive ingredients allow the active brighteners to work more effectively. A good moisturiser can also restore the skin’s lipid barrier, helping to further protect it from the sun’s damaging rays.