Hyperpigmentation: Causes & Treatments
Maybe you are starting to notice some frown lines on your face, or even perhaps some tiny wrinkles around the corner of your eyes. These are just some of the more common and obvious signs of early aging.
There is another sign of aging that is much more inconspicuous and it is known as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition where you develop darker patches of color under the skin surface.
Whether you have sun spots, age spots, freckles, acne scars or melasma – skin hyperpigmentation is a common issue.
In this article, we will discuss what you can do to help minimize the visible appearance of hyperpigmentation with the right skincare routine!
What is Melanin?
Whenever you go out into the sun to get a tan, melanin is what is responsible for changing your skin’s color. Melanin is a pigment that darkens the skin to protect it from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
While melanin can give you that bronzed effect that you may desire after going on a beach trip, it can also cause unwanted dark patches. This occurs when you stay out in the sun for too long.
Melanin is found in most living things, it is not only unique to humans. It is a pigment derived from tyrosine, an essential amino acid that our body needs in order to function properly. Melanin is made in the melanocytes (epidermal cells) and also in the hair follicles.
Melanin has a brownish and reddish tone in the skin and hair. The main function is, in fact, to protect us against the damaging effects of UV radiation.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
The harmful UV rays of the sun are to blame for most cases of hyperpigmentation. Excessive sun exposure causes cellular damage to our cells and triggers the overproduction of melanin.
Aside from the sun, hormonal changes during pregnancy and skin injury can also lead to hyperpigmentation. Skin rashes, cuts, waxing or even picking at pimples can damage the skin and lead to the formation of these dark spots.
Age spots or sun spots
Age spots or sun spots are the most common type of skin pigmentation. These are caused by sun damage which is why they are often found on areas frequently exposed to the sun, like your face and the back of your hands.
Freckles are another type of hyperpigmentation that is caused by sun exposure. People with lighter-colored skin tones are more predisposed to have freckles because of the type of melanin that they produce.
Melasma is characterized by dark patches that cover a larger area of the skin. These appear due to hormonal changes that trigger the overproduction of melanin and result in skin darkening.
How can I treat hyperpigmentation?
Up until recently, one of the sure ways to treat skin pigmentation was with the use of lasers. Lasers have been known to be highly effective, but they do come with a few drawbacks.
Lasers are very expensive for starters. They can also require a lot of down-time and are usually only effective on those with lighter, more fair skin tones.
Aside from laser, bleaching creams have also been used. However, many dermatologists and skin experts discourage the use of bleaching creams because of their steroid content. Prolonged use of steroids can increase your skin’s sensitivity, thus making it prone to injury and other skin diseases.
How can I minimize hyperpigmentation?
Are you noticing minor hyperpigmentation? Don’t panic. No matter the cause of your dark spots, there are several ways you can fade their appearance and prevent them from coming back.
SPF is a must – you must be tired of being told this by now, right?! But we cannot overemphasize this enough!
The sun is the main reason for your unwanted pigmentation. Even during dark and gloomy days, the UV rays of the sun can still penetrate the clouds so it is important to always make sure that you are wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 20 or higher.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C help to stabilize the skin from damage caused by the sun. This essential vitamin also helps brighten the skin's overall appearance and fade dark spots.
So how does it do work? On a cellular level, it works with tyrosinase, which is involved in the production of melanin. The result? Beautiful skin without a hint of premature aging.
Use an antioxidant-rich serum like the YEOUTH Vitamin C&E serum daily to protect your skin from sun damage and to also to help even out your skin tone.
Bonus: This lightweight day serum provides optimum hydration to the skin while also helping to fight fine lines and giving the skin a smoother, plumper texture!
Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and is the most common ingredient prescribed when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation. It promotes cell turnover by exfoliating the outer layer of the skin to encourage a healthier, new layer to emerge.
YEOUTH 2.5% Retinol Serum has the ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmentation. It does this by speeding up skin cell turnover to promote new skin growth for an overall better skin tone. It curbs melanin production which helps reduce hyperpigmentation to visibly reveal a brighter and more even skin tone.
It also stimulates the production of new blood vessels in the skin which helps improve overall skin vibrance.
Getting rid of darker dead skin cells becomes harder as we get older since our skin’s natural exfoliation process slows down. Regularly using an exfoliator will help get rid of hyperpigmentation and smooth out your complexion.
There are two types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliants like face scrubs contain particles that may actually be too abrasive for the skin. This technique may actually enhance hyperpigmentation and tone so it is advised to use them with caution.
Chemical exfoliants like YEOUTH Glycolic Acid Gel Peel, on the other hand, work by penetrating deeper into your skin to dissolve the dead skin cells. This method is safer and often more effective compared to mechanical exfoliants.
Glycolic acid helps exfoliate dead skin cells which allow the skin to have a brighter and more radiant glow.
Additionally, it is also able to minimize wrinkles and other fine lines. It also helps smooth rough and uneven skin by shrinking pores.
What kind of hyperpigmentation are you experiencing or have experienced? How are you treating it? Let us know in the comments below!
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