Its time was really sit down and have a talk about something that’s been bothering us for a while. We’ve all seen it, and by now most of us have experienced it or even read an article or two about it. Hyperpigmentation. No, it’s not a scary word, but it is a skincare nuisance that so many women just can’t seem to shake. While it’s tempting to hit your face with a cocktail of strong lotions, potions, and creams, it’s not a good idea. Harsh chemicals are not the way to go and can often cause more damage than you intended and lead to more problems than you have to address later on.
Before you head to a laser treatment center or buy every skin “lightening” product on the marketplace, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Hyperpigmentation affects millions of people each year and includes less commonly known variations such as melasma, which affects 5 million Americans each year, which often plague women during pregnancy. “Hyperpigmentation can affect [any skin color]. However, some people are more prone to it than others,” says dermatologist Jenna Queller.
Because hyperpigmentation is caused by injury to the skin, you don’t want to inflict more damage in your efforts to cure it. And while we encourage you to celebrate your skin and your beauty in every state, we know what it’s like to want to change a thing or two. After all, it’s pretty natural to strive for the best version of yourself.
If you’re fighting the hyperpigmentation dragon and don’t feel like you’re winning, we’re glad you’re here. There are a few things to remember when it comes to fighting hyperpigmentation: be gentle.
This might sound like a counterproductive approach for something that is so resistant to treatment but trust us, it’s the best method. Let’s talk about some helpful tips and tricks to get your face glowing and even.
- At-home remedies aren’t always enough. Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Kudos to you! There’s nothing like finishing a home project, changing your own oil, or turning a junkyard table into a fancy new dining room table. Learning to turn everyday items into something useful is a great skill to have. When it comes to skincare, sometimes it simply isn’t enough.
When you think gentle, you might automatically think natural. At-home remedies suggest things like aloe vera, potato, and even licorice can stop your dark spots in their tracks, but this isn’t really true. Results can be non-existent at worst, slow and lackluster at best. Using products with the proper ingredients will ensure that you can achieve the best version of your skin with consistency and less time.
- Don’t rush and get lasers and hydroquinone. Choosing to sit under laser lights several times a month or purchasing harsh skin lightening products that attempt to draw melanin from your face can cause more harm than good. While there may be more severe cases that can benefit from professional treatments such as laser services or other dermatologist-recommended treatments, the average woman doesn’t need those advanced and severe services to get results. Clinical research shows that many have their dark spots return after 90 days, and for some, these spots return darker. Unless you have lots of money to burn, laser treatments are temporary.
- Use formulas that are both gentle and effective. The key to actually treating hyperpigmentation and being gentle to your skin is all in the ingredients you use.
Choose a product that contains ingredients such as Don Quai, Vitamin B3 and Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane. This will guarantee you lasting results while treating your skin with the care you would use for a newborn baby. You can’t be that.
- Use preventive measures. One of the best ways to stop dark spots right in their path and keep your situation from getting worse is to prevent hyperpigmentation as you treat your skin. This means knowing what causes the condition and being proactive about stopping it.
Sun exposure is the number one culprit across all skin types and tones. This means using a high SPF (30 or 50) sunscreen, avoiding the brightest times of day (10am - 4pm) and wearing hats with wide brims and sunglasses to shield your face from the sun.
Dealing with acne? Maintain a strict regimen to treat your breakouts and be sure to avoid damaging your skin by washing harshly, picking or popping pimples, or using abrasive materials on breakouts. Any additional damage can create dark spot unnecessarily.
If you have sensitive skin, Queller notes that prevention and consistency are especially important as it might take a few months for your skin to show improvements.
Thinking you need something more powerful? It may not be a harsher cream you’re looking for, it might just be a better approach to a very common problem. When you’re armed with the right ingredients, fresh knowledge, and clean-clinical approach to skincare, nothing can stop you!