From acne scars to sun spots, discolouration can take many forms. The good news is, there are positive steps you can take to even out and brighten up your skin.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Hyperpigmentation refers to darker spots and patches that typically appear on the forehead, nose and cheeks. It’s a common skin condition that appears when melanin (natural pigment) is overproduced and concentrated in a particular area. Sun exposure, skin trauma (acne, bug bites, cuts and scratches), and hormonal changes (especially those caused by pregnancy) can all prompt a spike in melanin production. Some spots simply appear with age as the cells that produce the pigment increase in size over time.
KEY INGREDIENTS TO REDUCE OR PREVENT HYPERPIGMENTATION
Go-to ingredients for treating and preventing hyperpigmentation include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). Research has shown that niacinamide (a derivative of Vitamin B3) has been linked to suppressing the production of melanin as well as reducing the appearance of existing hyperpigmentation. Applying Vitamin A serums and exfoliating with AHAs (such as lactic acid) will also help to reduce hyperpigmentation by speeding up cell turnover. These ingredients reveal fresh new skin and improve texture and tone for a radiant and more even complexion.
TREATMENTS FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
Topical skincare products that contain the above ingredients are the perfect place to start when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation. Patience is key, as these products can take several months to produce visible results. Clinical treatments such as chemical peels, light therapy, laser and microdermabrasion are other options, available through cosmetic physicians and dermatologists.
HOW TO AVOID HYPERPIGMENTATION
Protecting skin from the sun is essential to avoid hyperpigmentation. You’ll also want to stop scratching bug bites and resist popping pimples. Using Vitamin B and Vitamin C on a daily basis (before you apply sunscreen) will also go a long way in preventing unwanted discolouration.
HYPERPIGMENTATION THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME 4
As we age, the pigment-producing cells in our skin increase in size, so sun spots (also known as age spots and liver spots) become more prevalent – usually from the age of 50. It is at this time that active ingredients such as Vitamin A and AHAs can help fade hyperpigmentation. If you start using sunscreen, Vitamin B and Vitamin C at a younger age, which is recommended, you may not notice hyperpigmentation until much later in life.
There’s also a type of hyperpigmentation called ‘melasma’ that is common in pregnancy and among people who take the oral contraceptive pill. It’s often called the ‘pregnancy mask’ because of where the brownish patches appear, usually on the cheeks and across the nose. Unfortunately, melasma doesn’t always respond to skincare or topical treatments as well as other forms of hyperpigmentation. If it has been triggered by pregnancy, seek medical advice before treatment.
BEST SKINCARE PRODUCTS TO TREAT HYPERPIGMENTATION
The Mx range features all the active ingredients you need to treat hyperpigmentation. Try the following products featured key vitamins and AHAs: