Had a little too much fun in the sun and suffering with hyperpigmentation? Those blotchy, dark patches on your skin are caused by an over-production of melanin and, unfortunately, nothing will age you faster.
While hormones, medication, skin scarring and pregnancy can all play a part; one of the main causes of pigmentation is sun exposure. But once the damage has been done, what can be done to fix it? Keep reading as we show you exactly what can be done to treat pigmentation and look after your skin better than ever before.
What is hyperpigmentation and skin spots?
Hyperpigmentation occurs when the melanocytes in the deeper layers of the skin produce a skin-darkening pigment known as melanin. If melanin is over-produced, it may result in darker skin patches appearing on the skin’s surface. It’s one of the most common skin conditions and can be difficult to treat.
There are two common causes of pigmentation. Sun induced pigmentation is caused when UV rays stimulate your pigment cells, called melanocytes, to manufacture melanin. This gives you a tan but can also cause those dreaded, irregular dark patches.
It’s commonly treated with topical creams, the most popular of which is hydroquinone. Such creams can be harsh and can even make the problem worse, so more natural, plant-based products are a better alternative to lighten patchy skin.
The second cause of hyperpigmentation is hormonally induced, often referred to as melasma. This tends to appear in defined patches on your face – often your cheeks – and appears on both sides (bi-lateral). This is often called ‘pregnancy mask’ as it is commonly triggered during pregnancy.
Getting even with hyperpigmentation
When treating hyperpigmentation at home, we recommend you use products with effective pigment inhibitors. Products with ingredients such as vitamin C, retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids are known to be effective.
These will help lighten dark marks, brighten dull skin and exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, fresher complexion. We recommend Balense Brightening Moisturiser, which contains clover leaf extract, a highly antioxidant active ingredient that brightens the skin and inhibits tyrosinase.
On a clinical level there are several treatments that can assist with hyperpigmentation, including customised pigmentation peels. Laser rejuvenation treatments and micro-needling also offer some of the most effective ways to diminish imperfections such as hyperpigmentation, broken blood vessels and general redness.
Micro-needling is a great treatment for stimulating the deeper layers of the skin with vibration-free micro needles, working to rebuild and restore the skin by reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and evening the texture and tone of the skin.
As you can see, there are plenty of viable treatment options – but it’s always best to check with your dermal technician what will work best for you. Tailored treatments directly suited to your skin’s needs provide the pathway to healthy, maintained skin and diminish the signs of hyperpigmentation.