Worried About Hyperpigmentation? Here's How to Prevent and Treat It
Lately, hyperpigmentation has been a super buzzy word in the beauty industry—but what is it exactly, and what's the big deal with having hyperpigmented skin?
We just had to know, so we reached out to the experts to find out. withSimplicity is one of our favorite indie brands at the moment, dedicated to making gimmick-free clean skincare with great ingredients, and owner Irina Dovganetskiy took the time to speak with us about what hyperpigmentation is, how to prevent it and what products work to treat it best.
Sweety High: What exactly is hyperpigmentation, and what causes it?
Irina Dovganetskiy: Hyperpigmentation is the coloring or darkening of the skin in the form of age spots or liver spots due to increased melanin. It can be caused by changes in hormones, too much sun exposure or injury to the skin. Dark spots and hyperpigmentation are typically harmless. In general, we just want to get rid of them due to their appearance.
External factors are major contributors to hyperpigmentation. Increased hormone levels, especially during pregnancy, can speed up melanin production. This is why pregnant women may notice dark spots around their face or other areas on their bodies.
Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and chemotherapy drugs, can also be a catalyst for the overproduction of melanin.
SH: Are there any skin types that are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation?
ID: There really aren't certain skin types that are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, except acne-prone skin. Those with deep cystic acne or those who pick at pimples may experience scarring and darkened skin pigmentation.
SH: How can we prevent hyperpigmentation?
ID: It's not possible to 100% prevent hyperpigmentation; however there are a few practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to lessen your chance of developing dark spots:
Using sunscreen. Personally, I recommend mineral sunscreens because they don't contain chemicals that cause adverse skin effects. I'd also recommend making sure the sunscreen has non-nano zinc and titanium dioxide particles. Non-nano particles will not absorb into the skin and bloodstream.
Avoid the sun during the times when it's stronger—typically midday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Avoid using any type of skincare tool with needles or harsh bristles. These will irritate the skin.
Avoid face scrubs or exfoliators that contain salt or sugar. These ingredients are too harsh on the delicate skin on the face and can lead to scarring. That being said, it is still important to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells—just make sure it's with something gentle such as oatmeal or dried botanicals.
SH: If hyperpigmentation develops, how can it be treated?
ID: I take a natural approach to skincare and prefer to use ingredients that are gentle on the skin and work with the body's natural processes in place of acid peels that cause inflammation.
My favorite ingredients for hyperpigmentation are oatmeal, citrus oils (in small amounts), carrot seed oil and turmeric. As I said before, exfoliating one or two times a week is great for hyperpigmentation. This will help to remove any dead skin cells and slowly remove discolored skin layers.
SH: Are there any specific products you recommend?
withSimplicity Micro Exfoliator & Mask: $24
This exfoliator is formulated without rough ingredients such as salts and sugars and instead contains oatmeal and dried botanicals that gently remove dead skin cells and smooth the skin. It also contains lemon and bergamot essential oils that help brighten the skin.
withSimplicity Lumi-hance | Turmeric + Vitamin C Brightening Mask: $8
This is a super hydrating mask that lightens the skin by fading dark spots and evening out tone.
withSimplicity Blue Dew – Blue Tansy Infused Beauty Balm: $42
This creamy balm is great for replenishing the skin's protective barrier and soothing dry patches. It contains carrot seed oil which has a high beta-carotene concentration. It removes pigmentation by blocking melanin production.
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