On the hierarchy of annoying skin conditions, hyperpigmentation is pretty darn up there. While it might not be painful or always dangerous, anyone with hyperpigmentation will tell you how frustrating it can be and how quickly it pops up and ruins a day. They’ll also probably tell you how difficult it can be to brighten. Well luckily for you, solving skin woes is our jam! Settle in and get ready for the brightest skin of your life.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the technical term for the darkening of skin. It can crop up in small patches, or cover large areas of the body, often giving off the appearance of large freckles or dark spots.We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but hyperpigmentation can affect everyone, no matter your age or skin type. While pigmentation isn’t usually dangerous, it can be a symptom of a bigger issue.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Just to complicate the matter, the answer to that question depends on the type of pigmentation. There are three main types for hyperpigmentation; melasma, sunspots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Post inflammatory pigmentation
This type of pigmentation happens when the skin surface is damaged which results in darker reddish patches. The most common cause of post-inflammatory pigmentation is breakouts and acne. It will usually fade over time and can be helped along with appropriate skincare and treatments.
Age or sun spots
These are darker patches that will appear on the skin as we age. They can be a result of too much time in the sun, pollution or even lifestyle, i.e. smoking. Unfortunately, these can be tricky to avoid as are just part of the ageing process, however, it can be slowed down by always wearing hat and sunscreen when outside and leading a healthy lifestyle with a good diet. A good source of Vitamin C can assist in lightening this type of pigmentation.
Melasma (hormonal pigmentation)
Hormonal pigmentation triggered by oestrogen is the hardest to treat but can be managed. While it is difficult to make it ‘disappear’, melasma can be managed with a good skincare regime and even in salon treatments. The most important thing to remember is that if you are going to undertake a regime for pigmentation you must be vigilant with sun care! Otherwise, you will get nowhere.
As a general rule for hyperpigmentation, damage to the skin cells (or hormonal changes in the case of melasma) triggers our bodies to produce an excess of melanin pigment as part of the healing process.
How to treat hyperpigmentation
That might all sound like a lot of bad news, but the positive is that there are some great products to brighten and even your skin. All it takes is some killer ingredients.
Here are a couple of crucial tips before we begin our journey:
Sun protection – We all know what to do… So, do it!
Commitment – Commitment can be scary, but this will be worth it.
Patience – It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
One of the superstar ingredients in the world of brightening is vitamin C. This is for three (yes three!) main reasons. Not only can Vitamin C inhibit the production of melanin, it is also a key component of collagen production for newer, glowier skin, and is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are crucial for treating hyperpigmentation as they neutralise free radicals, unstable atoms that can damage skin cells. With vitamin C and other antioxidants, getting rid of acne scars and other pigmentation just got a whole lot easier.
Speaking of vitamin C, the Pomegranate Brightening Serum is full of the stuff! It brightens and lightens uneven skin tone thanks to 3% ethyl ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), the highest recommended level for optimal skin brightening. Another great natural ingredient is Kakadu Plum, which has one of the highest levels of vitamin C in the world. Yeah, you could say we’re kind of obsessed with vitamin C for hyperpigmentation. Shoutout to bearberry extract and amino acids which you’ll also find in this Skin Treat, as they reduce melanin production and brighten dull, sallow skin.
Our Encapsulated Retinol range is an exfoliation dream and hyperpigmentation’s worst nightmare. Incorporating retinol products into your skin regime will boost your skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, helping smooth any fine lines and wrinkles, and encourage the fading of acne scars and other forms of pigmentation. We might sound like a broken record, but we’re going to say it again: start at level one and when your skin is A-okay with that, you can move to the next.
Similar yet still effective, our Afterglow Rejuvenating Bakuchiol is a gentle-on-the-skin natural alternative to retinol. This product stimulates collagen production, encourages cell turnover and brightens uneven skin tones. The great benefit of bakuchiol is that it is also suitable for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Let’s not forget pigmentation around the eyes - hey, we’re tired out here! The Brightening Eye Serum targets dark circles to brighten the area. A derivative of Vitamin C, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a potent skin brightener and one of the star ingredients of this small but mighty product. It is seriously a saviour to get rid of hyperpigmentation under the eye.
In a nutshell, to get rid of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation fast, use brightening products with effective antioxidant ingredients like vitamin C and vitamin E.
Finish off your brightening routine strong by making sure you’re wearing SPF. Every. Single. Day. The Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen will keep you safe from damaging (and hyperpigmentation causing) UV rays. If you are spending long periods of time out in the sun, make sure you reapply, and to be one of our gold-star students, apply sunscreen to your hands as well.
Hyperpigmentation is never fun, but it is also not something you just have to put up with! There are some great products that are rich in antioxidants that help brighten the skin and make getting rid of pigmentation less of a dream and more of a reality. If you need a little extra help fighting hyperpigmentation, you can shop our full brightening skincare range or chat to our skincare experts today!