Skincare For Hyperpigmentation: What Should You Be Using?
Is there skincare suitable for hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the collective word to describe things like age spots; where the skin becomes darker then the other area of skin surrounding it. It’s common and can affect all skin types and colours.
It’s generally harmless, but some people consider it unsightly and unpleasant and there are many home remedies and methods you can use to help diminish the appearance of these darkened areas of your skin.
So, in this blog we’re going to take a closer look at hyperpigmentation: the types and the causes, and then the skincare you can use to help balance out your skin tone again…
Are There Different Types of Hyperpigmentation?
Yes. The common types of hyperpigmentation include:
Usually located on the forehead, face and stomach and appear in large patches of darkened skin. Melasma typically affects females, people on birth control, pregnant women, and those with darker skin.
Usually seen on the neck or the face, this type of hyperpigmentation appears in spots/patches of darkened skin that appear after a flare of acne, eczema or similar inflammatory skin conditions. This will typically affect those with these kinds of conditions or those who’s skin has been injured.
These are commonly found on the hands or the face, or anywhere else on the body that’s regularly exposed to the sun’s UV rays. They are black, tan or brown spots of varying sizes, and occur due to sun overexposure. This means they are typically seen on maturer adults.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Many things can cause hyperpigmentation. Like mentioned above, consistent exposure to the sun’s rays, inflammatory skin conditions and hormonal changes (like pregnancy). In addition, hyperpigmentation can be caused by a reaction to medication.
For example, tricyclic antidepressants and anti-malarial drugs have been known to cause skin hyperpigmentation in users, but the hyperpigmentation is more of a grey colour than a brown/black. Some chemicals in some topical medications have also been known to cause the skin to darken in some cases.
If you are someone with Addison’s disease (an adrenal gland condition) or Haemochromatosis (when the body stores too much Iron), these conditions can also cause hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Skincare For Hyperpigmentation: How Can I Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself from age spots and skin damage is to, of course, protect yourself from the sun. Avoid the sun when it’s at it’s strongest between 10am and 4pm. Wear sunscreen every day, particularly on your face, ears and neck and wear things like hats when exposed to it.
You should aim to use an SPF 30 or higher to prevent your skin from developing darker spots, and also to stop existing hyperpigmentation getting darker. SPF 30 protects against 97% of all UV rays, protecting the skin from damage and degeneration
If you are someone with acne or are prone to spots or scabs when your skin gets cut or scraped, try not to pick at the healing skin to avoid the skin developing hyperpigmentation.
Skincare For Hyperpigmentation: What Can I Use To Reduce The Appearance Of Hyperpigmentation?
There are many natural remedies touted as great hyperpigmentation reducers that you can try…
That’s right! Lemon can be used to lighten darkened skin patches. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is effective in evening out skin's pigmentation, so it can help keep our skin evenly toned whilst aiding an increase in our natural collagen levels too!
Lemons also work as an antioxidant, helping your skin protect itself from free radicals and other external stressors.
Hyperpigmentation on your face? Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe gently over the skin, and rinse off with lukewarm water after five minutes, and pat dry.
Hyperpigmentation on your body? For places like your elbows, knees, arms and legs, cut a lemon in half and rub onto these areas directly twice a week, letting it soak for around 15 minutes. After cleaning off with water, apply a moisturizer to avoid drying the skin out.
Cel Pro Tip: Remember to wear SPF when using lemon juice on your skin. Citrus fruit contains chemicals called Furanocoumarins and Psoralens. These can be harmful to your skin in direct sunlight, and can cause really nasty skin blisters! SPF is essential if you’re exposed to the sun (even more so if you have hyperpigmentation) and using pure lemon juice in your beauty regime.
Try Green Tea
Green tea may be effective in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You can simply apply wet and cooled tea bags to the darkened areas of skin and leave it on for 15 minutes to soak in, a few times a week.
Try Aloe Vera
Some believe that the aloe vera can lighten areas of pigmentation in the skin. It’s thought to work by reducing the production of melanin.
You can take aloe vera capsules, or if you have an aloe vera plant, simply squeeze the liquid out of the leaf and massage into the skin. If you don’t have a plant, there are many products on the market like aloe vera gel you can use as an alternative.
*If you’ve applied lemons, green tea or aloe vera topically and your skin becomes red, itchy or scaly, this may mean you’re allergic so stop using immediately and consult with your doctor if this occurs.
Did you know that you’re statistically more likely to have a reaction to aloe vera if you have an allergy to onions and/or garlic…?*
Our Final Thoughts On Skincare For Hyperpigmentation…
If your hyperpigmentation is getting you down, you can also investigate more invasive (and expensive) methods of treatment such as laser therapy, chemical peels and microdermabrasion but you will need to consult a specialist. There are also topical treatments like retinoid creams and corticosteroids that you may be offered by a professional consultant.
Remember, hyperpigmentation isn’t harmful, but if it’s appearance is affecting your emotional wellbeing, always check in with your doctor.