How to Combat Hyperpigmentation
by Stacey Manns - Skin Care Specialist
Summer is in full bloom in most parts of the world, but all the sun seekers and soakers should be careful. Whether you are less diligent with reapplying sunscreen or simply had overexposure to the sun, you may notice dark spots or hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the over production of melanin – the skin’s natural defense to protect against the suns harmful ultraviolet rays. Lessening the appearance of hyperpigmentation can be a challenge although achievable through:
• eating foods rich in antioxidants
• thoroughly cleansing the skin using Clarisonic cleansing brush
• applying antioxidants topically to skin
• skin lightening products
• proper use of sunscreen
Treating the skin from the inside as well as out is essential to correcting, protecting and preventing sun damage. We know the Sun’s radiation, pollution, and poor lifestyle choices age the skin. The combination of skin maintenance rituals will produce optimal benefits to combating hyperpigmentation – not one alone is enough. Eating foods rich in protective, sun damage combating antioxidants and minerals provides the body and skin with tools for correcting and protecting the skin.
Proper cleansing is essential to skin health. On average one spends about 15 seconds using water, cleanser, and friction from hand or cleansing tool to wash their face. This is not enough to thoroughly remove extrinsic agers. The Clarisonic Cleansing Brush provides optimal cleansing, with a commitment of one minute. When the skin is properly cleansed, serums and moisturizers penetrate the skin much deeper, uninhibited by residual product and debris left behind after manual cleansing.
Antioxidant serums such as vitamin c, vitamin e, and reseveratrol are ideal for daily treatment on the skin after cleansing in the morning. Research reveals that sunscreen alone is not enough to protect the skin against sun damage. Pairing an antioxidant such as Emerginc’s Vitamin C serum with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is optimal for protection against the Suns’s UVA and UVB rays. Ideally, antioxidant serums are applied after cleansing in the morning followed by an eye cream, face moisturizer and sunscreen.
As we age, our cellular regeneration slows, leading to lack of radiance and discoloration of the skin. Retinol is derived from vitamin a and encourages cellular regeneration or the skins natural exfoliation process. Although there are many benefits to the skin when using Retinol, most importantly to fading discoloration, is an increase in cellular regeneration. Exfoliating dead skin cells more rapidly allows the skin to shed the discolored layers to reveal more even skin tone and texture. Vitamin A or Retinol, is light sensitive and is a reparative product thus should be used as an evening regimen.
Hyperpigmentation often requires targeted spot treatment to aggressively fade spots. The objective is to use a product that absorbs the sun’s uv rays and inhibits the production of melanin in the skin. Ingredients to look for when selecting a skin lightener include kojic acid, licorice extract, citrus extract and bearberry – all of which are safe, non-toxic, and effective when treating dark spots. Clarins Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum is great skin lightener containing citrus extract.
Sun exposure is the number one contributor to hyperpigmentation, thus sunscreen is the first line of defense. Look for a sunscreen offering broad spectrum protection, meaning protection against UVA and UVB sun light containing titanium dioxide and iron oxide. Remember when applying sunscreen to apply every two hours for protection. If you are not applying every two hours your skin is not protected. La Bella Donna Translucent Sun Protection is great for reapplying because unlike liquid, crushed minerals are not absorbed into the skin therefore do not need to be reapplied as frequently.
Most importantly, consistency is key in any skin care regimen to achieve specific results. Not just one product is going to be as effective as the combination of products acting in full combat to achieve results. Correct, protect and prevent is the path to healthy skin.