Hyperpigmentation is a scandal that can melt many individuals’ confidence. While we all love to accept our flaws, it doesn’t hurt to work for a clearer skin while doing so. And to work on the skin, the first step should be prevention. Once hyperpigmentation occurs on the skin, it can take quite some time to heal and get back to an even skin tone. Hence, we’re big preachers of preventing hyperpigmentation and here’s what you need to know about it!
What is hyperpigmentation and what are its causes?
Hyperpigmentation is where your skin darkens in patches or small specific areas or the entire body. The good part is it is not harmful but the sad part is that they don’t go well with our confidence. So let’s summarise the three main causes and types of hyperpigmentation to learn how to prevent it.
It is the darkening of the skin caused by UV damage. It could be typically where the sun hits your skin so you might see hyperpigmentation on your face and arms.
This is the type of hyperpigmentation that is caused due to hormonal changes in the body. It generally occurs during pregnancy or could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. You can spot patches of hyperpigmentation around the stomach, chin or anywhere on the face.
3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation(PIH)
PIH is caused due to inflammation or any injuries. It could be acne that you popped which has left your skin very inflamed so to protect itself from further damage you will land up with hyperpigmentation spots or patches.
To treat them and to see why your current skincare regime is not helping you reduce them, read here.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation?
It is said that prevention is better than cure and it couldn’t be truer in the case of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation takes a longer time to wear off your skin and it is pretty frustrating. To treat hyperpigmentation, you need a consistent skincare regime and lots of patience. It can take anything between 3 months to 2 years to get rid of marks. Hence, we highly believe in preventing it and here are some ways it can be done right:
- Wear sunscreen that has higher SPF and PA if you’re outdoors and a lighter SPF when you’re indoors in front of your laptop, suffering all the blue light damage. SPF is the prevention and treatment for many skin concerns and it is alarming if you think SPF is negotiable in your AM routine.
Learn more about sunscreen and how to read its label here.
Sublime recommends Rovectin Skin Essentials Double Tone-Up UV Protector. It has SPF 50 PA++++ and is a physical sunscreen containing filters like Titanium and Zinc oxide along with Vitamin E to nourish your skin.
- Wear a physical blocker like a hat, scarf, umbrella, full-length clothes, or a lighter shade of clothes to protect yourself from the UV rays. Just SPF never cuts when you’re outdoors. Physical blockers are equally important to prevent hyperpigmentation due to UV damage.
- Moisturise your skin well. Hyperpigmentation is often caused easily due to broken skin barriers. This is also adding to other skin concerns. One of the key points to note while protecting your skin from damage is to maintain a very healthy skin barrier. To do so, all you need is a moisturiser that is rich in Ceramides, Peptides, Hyaluronic acid, etc. This is because your skin barrier is mainly lipids that filter what stays and goes out of your skin.
Learn more about the skin barrier here.
Sublime recommends Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream. If your skin needs a little pick-me-up from dryness and irritation then this is what to look for. Perfect for those who are suffering from dryness and damaged skin barrier mainly!
- Have a balanced diet to maintain healthy hormone levels. If you have any hormone-related condition then you can look for supplements and herbs that can help you bring peace to your body. If you have enough macro and micro-nutrients, your hormone levels will be under control. For women, the struggle is tough though. Every month, female bodies go through a lot of changes due to fluttering hormone levels that can even lead to hyperpigmentation. Such incidences can be reduced by including herbal tea or supplements to balance the diet.
Learn more about how food affects your skin here.
Sublime recommends Nyumi Radiant Skin Gummies Burdock Root Goji Berry, Maca Root and much more to provide you with some of the basic nutrients. This eventually promotes well-being of your body holistically.
Which are the 5 ingredients used to prevent hyperpigmentation?
These are the 5 most used ingredients when it comes to the prevention of hyperpigmentation through active ingredients. These ingredients are not only preventive but also can address your current hyperpigmentation patches and marks. Learn why are we recommending them here:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a rich source of Antioxidants which is what your skin needs the most to prevent hyperpigmentation. It can slow down the production of melanin (brown pigmentation) and also boost collagen production to give you smooth and bright skin. Vitamin C is available in many forms in the market and one needs to also note the concentration it is available. It is best to start with the lowest concentration and move upwards when your skin feels used to the previous dose. You can pair Vitamin C with Niacinamide to ensure that the skin barrier is healthy while Vitamin C works on your skin.
Learn more about Vitamin C here.
Sublime recommends Martiderm DSP-Bright 5 Ampoules Serum. It has 5% L-Ascorbic acid which is the most stable form of Vitamin C. It also has Tranexamic acid to decrease sun sensitivity and Phytic acid to eliminate all the gunk.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acid(AHA) is a chemical exfoliator that can eliminate any irritants that could be blocking your pores and leading to hyperpigmentation. Some of the AHAs to name are Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, etc. They have exfoliating properties and are humectants which makes them a great pick for dry, normal, acne-prone skin. However, chemical exfoliating comes with a guide sheet. One can use AHAs as a peeling mask once in a while or even as a toner to spray once or twice a week.
Learn more about chemical exfoliation for beginners here.
Sublime recommends Daughter Earth AHA BHA PHA Exfoliating Cleanser. It has natural exfoliants and berry extracts to moisturise and soothe your skin. We’d pick this as a beginner!
3. Tranexamic acid
Tranexamic acid is a synthetic derivative of an amino acid called lysine that helps in the formation of protein. It can block melanin production and also strengthen the skin barrier. Unlike most of the acids, Tranexamic acid has also proven to make your skin less sun-sensitive. Due to this, it also helps individuals with skin conditions like Rosacea to help control the triggers.
Learn more about Tranexamic acid here.
Sublime recommends Neemli Naturals Spot Correcting Concentrate. It is 10% Tranexamic acid that helps in preventing and targeting any light or stubborn spots on the skin. We love this as a preventive act since it is all about decreasing sun sensitivity!
Retinol is a powerful ingredient when it comes to improving the cell turnover rate and giving you flawless skin. It belongs to a group of Vitamin A derivatives called Retinoid. Retinol is touted to be the most tolerable form and works as an anti-ageing treatment. With this, it also delivers a reduction in stubborn marks, scars, and texture. Retinol does require moisturised skin to work which is why the sandwich method works best to avoid any irritation or flaking.
If you plan on using Retinol, then here are the mistakes you must avoid getting all the benefits minus the fussiness!
5. Alpha Arbutin
It’s a synthetic version of Arbutin which is found in berries and is known to block the production of melanin. It is a derivative of Hydroquinone which is why it has brightening and spot fading ability. It works by inhibiting the enzymes that help melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) to make melanin. Alpha Arbutin is also very gentle on skin which makes it a perfect pick for sensitive skin types too.
Learn more about Alpha Arbutin here.
Sublime recommends Deconstruct Clearing Serum. It has 2% Alpha Arbutin and 5% Niacinamide that helps in UV protection, preventing and treating hyperpigmentation. If you’re someone new to Alpha Arbutin then this is the right pick!
Hyperpigmentation is a complete bummer and while we tell ourselves that one must aim for healthy skin instead of flawless, we all love to see a clear face. To prevent hyperpigmentation, one needs to go all horns blaring high on the protection of the skin from UV damage, irritants like pollution, dirt, dead skin, harsh chemicals, etc which can lead to the damaged skin barrier and eventually hyperpigmentation. We found the five best ingredients to prevent hyperpigmentation- Vitamin C, AHA, Retinol, Tranexamic Acid, and Alpha Arbutin. The mixture of all would be a disaster for your skin but use these actives once at a time and see how you’re able to maintain that flawless glow!