The Aging Behind Hyperpigmentation: What is it and How to Treat it
What: Hyperpigmentation isn't necessarily a skin condition but rather is a term that describes darkened patches or spots on skin. Unlike freckles, the discoloration doesn't fade in cooler seasons and unfortunately becomes more prominent as we age.
The three different types of hyperpigmentation include:
Melasma- believed to be caused by hormonal changes. Area of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body but are most commonly found on the stomach and face.
Sunspots- also called liver spots, are the most common and are related to excess unprotected sun exposure. Generally, they appear as dark spots.
Post inflammatory- this hyperpigmentation is a result of injury or trauma to the skin. Think pimple popping, deep cut, or repeated pressure/touching.
Together, these different hyperpigmentations are one of the biggest factors that can influence how old people think we are hence why it is commonly referred to as, "age spots." The big questions: where do they even come from and what can we do about them?
"30 minutes unprotected in the sun can undo a month's worth of effort in fighting hyperpigmentation"
So what can we do about it moving forward?
Use SPF daily! Sunscreen has a multitude of benefits including protecting your biggest organ from the sun's damaging UV rays which can cause burning, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, and possibly skin cancer. Daily, repeated practice of wearing sun protection makes the world of difference over time and really that is the key, consistency.
Use the right ingredients
There are wonderful ingredients in skincare products that already exist over the counter to help fight hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C stands out as one of the most powerful because of its potent antioxidants that help decrease transepidermal water loss (TEWL), improve skin barrier function, increase collagen production, and impede melanin production. Put simply, it helps your skin retain moisture, brighten dark spots, and improve your skin's ability to protect itself and function.
Overall, it's a super ingredient.
Everyone's guilty of looking in the mirror and touching their skin for far too long trying to address every little imperfection. But it's important to let our skincare products do the hard lifting for us. All that touching, poking, stretching, etc. can cause irritation and traumatize the skin leading to redness, hyperpigmentation, and bruising. No matter how tempting it may be, be gentle and use your products and clean instruments to extract any acne.
Be patient & consistent
Unfortunately, like all good things, it takes time to fade hyperpigmentation. It can take as long as 30 days of consistent skincare treatment before you see any progress. But, stick with it, and you'll eventually see brighter, firmer, and more glowing skin!