Age spots, liver spots, acne scars, melasma – no matter what you call it, hyperpigmentation is a big source of frustration for many women. In fact, how to fix hyperpigmentation is one of our most commonly asked questions!
I totally get it. During my first pregnancy, I developed Melasma, a condition in which brown patches appear on the face rather than a pregnancy glow! But they say that necessity is the mother of invention and that experience resulted in the creation of two of our most popular products (but more on that later).
Keep reading to learn more about hyperpigmentation, what to do to prevent it, and how to regain an even skin tone.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Our skin naturally produces melanin, a pigment that protects our skin from sun damage. Melanin is also responsible for our natural skin tone.
Sometimes, however, our skin can produce too much melanin, resulting in areas that look darker than their surroundings. These darkened areas are called hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is actually a really broad category that refers to any unusual darkening of the skin. There are four main types of hyperpigmentation
- Age Spots - Also known as liver spots, these pesky signs of aging are caused by sun damage. That’s why they usually appear on skin that’s frequently exposed to the sun. Think your face, décolletage, arms, and hands.
- Melasma - Melasma usually appears on the face and has a splotchy appearance. This form of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal changes, like pregnancy or birth control pills. Sun and heat can also cause aggravate melasma.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - The most common example of this type of hyperpigmentation is acne scarring. But post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can also occur after bug bites, razor burn or other abrasions. Like melasma and age spots, it’s also worsened by sun exposure.
- Freckles - Freckles are cute, but they’re technically small spots of hyperpigmentation. While they are genetic in origin, they are darkened by the sun.
How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation
Noticing a pattern here? Sun exposure worsens all types of hyperpigmentation. Thus, practicing good sun protection habits is key to preventing uneven skin tone. That's why it's so important to incorporate sunscreen into your daily skincare routine and to make sure you are reapplying during times of major sun exposure. For the best kind of protection look for sunscreens with zinc oxide. If you’re going to be in the sun for an extended amount of time, I would also suggest wearing a hat.
Unfortunately, we have less control over our hormones’ effects on our skin. According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, up to 70 percent of pregnant women develop melasma during pregnancy. While there isn’t really anything you can do to prevent developing melasma during pregnancy, wearing sunscreen can help stop melasma from spreading.
Other sources of hyperpigmentation are more avoidable if you're in the right mindset! One of the worst things you can do to your skin is popping pimples and picking scabs! Not only can these bad beauty habits lead to infection, but they also worsen scarring. Let blemishes heal on their own and cover abrasions like cuts or scrapes with a bandage to allow them to heal without exposure to the sun. I know it's tempting to pick but anyone with scarring from acne can tell you that it's just not worth it.
How to Fix Hyperpigmentation
My preferred method for achieving an even skin tone has to be exfoliation. Using an exfoliant can help to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation by increasing skin cell turnover which will allow new, fresh skin come to the forefront.
My favorite exfoliant is BEAUTONE Enlightening Facial Brightener Serum, which gently exfoliates skin while you sleep. This serum is formulated with a unique combination of brightening ingredients like Ayurvedic herb Emblica, Licorice Root Extract and L-Ascorbic Acid, aka Vitamin C. This powerhouse trio works to gently but effectively resurface your skin back to radiant.
If you prefer to use a cream, I love our BEAUTONE Enlightening Spot Treatment, which uses four effective skin brightening ingredients Emblica, Arbutin, Licorice Root Extract and Kojic Acid to help achieve perfect your skin tone. What's best is it's also hydroquinone free! This ingredient, while popular overseas, has been found to be carcinogenic. The moisturizing formula specifically targets discoloration and dehydration to minimize the look of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. As a result, your skin will look healthy, glowing and even toned.
You're probably wondering where the word Beautone came from? We actually married the prefix of BEAuty with the suffix in skin-TONE to best exemplify the effectiveness of this 1-2 punch to target uneven skin tone!
Whenever I'm dealing with hyperpigmentation I like to use these two treatments in conjunction with one another to accelerate my results. Using these two products together helped me tremendously to reduce the appearance of my melasma and give me back my glow!
Keep in mind that fading hyperpigmentation can take several months. Without proper sun protection, hyperpigmentation can reemerge after treatment, so keep wearing that sunscreen!
Have you ever had hyperpigmentation? What caused it? How did you treat it? Let me know in the comments!