An imbalance of pigmentation can show up in many forms.
If you’re seeing sun spots, acne scars, brown patches or freckles, don’t sweat! There are a few, simple steps you can take to restore pigmentation balance and some incredibly effective treatments available, as well.
But first, let’s talk about the cause of hyperpigmentation and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
WHAT IS PIGMENTATION?
Pigmentation simply refers to the normal color of your skin based on its melanin levels.
Certain genetics cause skin shades to vary from pale white (less melanin) to dark brown (more melanin). However, factors such as:
- sun exposure,
- hormonal imbalance or
- inflammation can alter the amount of melanin your skin produces. This is how hyperpigmentation occurs.
HYPERPIGMENTATION FIGHTING INGREDIENTS
First and foremost, we recommend adding a niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B-3) product to your skincare routine. Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanin from the pigment cells to the skin, and therefore is an extremely effective ingredient in treating hyperpigmentation.
Non-acidic and non-irritating, this gentle ingredient is known to have almost no side effects and is suitable for all skin types. It also helps protect your skin from any form of UV damage.
TIMELINE: Studies show that niacinamide reverses the signs of hyperpigmentation in as little as four weeks.
A form of Vitamin A, Retinol helps increase the rate of cell turnover. It also makes the skin thicker, lighter and less prone to ageing.
TIMELINE: Retinol is slightly milder in its effect when compared to niacinamide. This product can take upto six months to show improvement in hyperpigmentation. Continual use, however, is highly effective in the long term.
- Vitamin C
If you’re fighting dark spots, this antioxidant plays a vital role.
With excellent anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin C prevents melanin production and protects your skin from UV effects by neutralising free radicals and preventing any signs of aging. This ingredient is most effective at combating hyperpigmentation when applied in the morning in combination with Vitamin E.
TIMELINE: Expect to see significant improvements in your skin after two months.
- AHA’S ( Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
You can use AHA products on areas like your backside and chest, as well as your face. Best for treating PIH, AHA’s can be slightly aggressive on the skin since they gently buff away the top layer of your skin to reveal newer cells.
Layer with Vitamin C for maximum effectiveness and avoid using Retinol in tandem as both ingredients are exfoliants.
TIMELINE: It can take two to three months before you start to see significant improvements with AHA’s.
TREATMENTS FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
Our team of licensed aestheticians recommend the following treatments to combat hyperpigmentation:
- Chemical Peels: Reduce discoloration, breakouts and wrinkles
- Laser Resurfacing: Treat wrinkles, discoloration and blemishes
- Microneelding: Reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, and improve texture & tone
IS HYPERPIGMENTATION FOREVER?
Hyperpigmentation will fade away over time. Depending on the type of hyperpigmentation, it can take from up to one month to 2 years to heal. Here are a few ways to avoid it all together.
HOW TO AVOID HYPERPIGMENTATION
- Apply SPF: Apply a minimum of SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to protect your skin. See more sun safe habits, here.
- Avoid Picking at Acne.
- Support healthy hormone functions with diet and lifestyle changes.
- Spray perfume is on your clothes instead of your skin (to avoid photosensitivity due to alcohol)
- Live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Looking for the perfect skincare products to combat or avoid hyperpigmentation? Schedule a free consultation with our licensed aestheticians, here.