We’re all about loving yourself the way you are but sometimes what we see as imperfections can be debilitating and if that is the case for you, and you’re looking to achieve a more even complexion, take these easy steps to protect your skin from the sun and other forms of damage.
If you have noticed that some parts of your skin are darker than others, you’re not alone. Hyperpigmentation is a common issue that affects people with all skin types and tones, often in areas such as the face and hands. Fortunately, mild to moderate cases — such as sunspots, age spots, scars left by acne, and small patches of discolouration — can often be resolved with the right choice of brightening and lightening products. Read on to find out exactly what causes the issue and what you can do to keep it under control if you are unhappy with the condition of your skin.
What is hyperpigmentation? Hyperpigmentation, put simply, refers to darker patches of skin that develop from an overproduction of melanin, the substance in the body that produces pigmentation in the hair, eyes and skin. Although the issue generally doesn’t cause any harm, it can be a cause of cosmetic concern, especially when it affects visible areas, such as the face.
What causes hyperpigmentation? There are a few types of hyperpigmentation, the most common of which is melasma. Melasma is often caused by hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy. Other common forms of hyperpigmentation include sunspots, which appear as the result of excessive sun exposure; and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which occurs as the result of inflammation or a skin injury — this type of hyperpigmentation often occurs as a side effect of acne.
In some cases, hyperpigmentation could be a sign of an underlying health condition, while certain medications tend to increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and could put you at greater risk of developing the issue.
How can it be prevented? Unfortunately, it is not always possible to completely prevent hyperpigmentation, especially in cases caused by hormonal changes or an underlying medical condition.
There are, however, ways in which the skin can be protected from the sun to lessen the risk of dark patches. You should wear sunscreen daily – choose a product with an SPF of at least 30 for optimal protection. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat and protective clothing anytime that you are in the sun.
What Are The Treatment Options? If you’re struggling with dark patches of skin, the good news is that there are a few ways in which the issue can be dealt with. Make sure to include a nourishing skincare range, including moisturisers and serums, in your morning and evening self-care routine, as this will help restore the skin’s natural fat barrier and provide protection from the sun. It’s worth looking out for ingredients that benefit the skin’s overall condition and boost the production of new cells — good options include hyaluronic acid and retinol.
If over-the-counter brightening and moisturising products, however, are not having enough of an effect, it might be time to consult with a dermatologist. Prescription products are often highly effective for reducing the appearance of dark skin patches, while skincare treatments like chemical peels, laser therapy and dermabrasion are popular means of minimising discolouration.
Avoid direct sunlight where possible
Use a hat, and don’t forget the daily application of SPF
Make sure your skincare routine includes products with vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid
Moisturise every day and every night to help keep the skin moist, aiding in boosting cell regeneration
Exfoliate your skin once a week
Hands off acne, blackheads and bug bites to avoid excess injury
TO CLEANSE AND BRIGHTEN | Bioderma Pigmentbio H2O Cleanser R260
This is a powerful tool to cleanse the face and remove makeup. It has an immediate brightening effect and leaves your skin feeling refreshed. The full Bioderma Pigmentbio range specifically targeting hyperpigmentation includes C-Concentrate, Daily Care SPF 50+, Foaming Cream, H2O, Night Renewer, and a Sensitive Areas crème.
FOR DAILY SUN PROTECTION | Bioderma Pigmentbio Daily Care SPF 50+ R450
It is absolutely imperative that, without fail, you remember to apply a good sunscreen every day. To help with pigmentation, ensure you use an SPF of more than 30 for maximum protection. Daily Care SPF 50+ is formulated to illuminate, protect and brighten your skin.
TO BRIGHTEN AND REDUCE DISCOLOURATION | Neostrata Enlighten Illuminating Serum R1 228
This serum quite literally illuminates the skin with its potent multi-action function that brightens and reduces the appearance of discolouration. Includes vitamin C, among other targeting ingredients.
FOR AGE SPOTS & ANTI-AGEING | Neostrata Firming Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum R1 186
The Tri-Therapy Lifting serum is an oil-free, antiaging serum designed to renew skin tone by gently exfoliating the skin.
TO REDUCE THE INTENSITY OF EXISTING SPOTS | Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate R415
Used at night for 1 month up to 3 months, this gel-like miracle crème reduces the intensity of existing spots and prevents the appearance of new ones.
FOR BLOTCHY, RED SKIN | Neostrata Restore Redness Neutralizing Serum R1 070
This serum has a cooling effect and specifically targets blotchiness and soothes sensitive skin.
TO BRIGHTEN AND EXFOLIATE | Exuviance Brightening Serum R797
It’s all in the name. This multi-tasking serum is formulated to brighten, exfoliate, and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
TO HYDRATE AND STRENGTHEN THE SKINS BARRIER | Dermalogica Hyaluronic Ceramide Mist R949
Hyaluronic acid is a great skincare ingredient to help reduce pigmentation and blemishes. It leaves the skin looking plump and really keeps the skin hydrated. This mist has 4 types of hyaluronic acid for extra-long lasting hydration.