Do you ever notice the skin around your mouth is a little darker than your whole face? Or maybe you have random darker spots on your cheeks? That’s called Hyperpigmentation.
Uneven skin tone could be very annoying, especially since we don’t use makeup to cover it. So we have to first understand what we’re dealing with and then learn how to fix hyperpigmentation for good.
Unfortunately for people of colour, we are more likely to develop dark spots and uneven skin tone than our caucasian brothers. When we experience an injury or trauma like acne, cuts, scratches, burns - it increases production of melanin (our colour) and leaves a mark with this darker tone, making it harder for us to treat.
How does hyperpigmentation happen?
The most common types of hyperpigmentation are:
- Sun exposure: prolonged exposure to the sun without proper SPF protection can lead to sun spots.
- Skin inflammation: this is usually caused by acne, lupus, eczema, allergic reactions or an injury like a cut, scratch or burn.
How to fix hyperpigmentation?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic eraser that will erase those dark spots and make your skin tone even.
You will need a long term, consistent routine that’ll help fade those dark spots.
Religiously apply sunscreen. As I’ve mentioned in the previous articles, SPF 30 Broad Spectrum is the way to go, of course you can go higher but SPF 30 is your minimum Sun Protection Factor. And reapply every 2-3 hours.
Avoid picking and touching your face. It will trigger the production of melanocytes even more and further damage the skin.
Use antioxidants. This can be found in some skincare products which will help fight and protect your skin from free radicals, sun damage, pollution and UV rays. Serums with Vitamin C are your friend.
- Invest in a chemical exfoliator with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid. This will remove the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and will help (gradually) minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation spots.
- Look for vitamin A on your products. Vitamin A contains retinoids which help boost collagen production. It also stimulates the production of new blood vessels which will improve the skin tone. Use retinol in your evening routine because it can cause skin irritation if exposed to sunlight without proper sunscreen protection.
Like I said, there’s no instant solution to this problem. You have to commit and be consistent with your routine and next thing you know, those dark spots are barely noticeable.