Hyperpigmentation, otherwise known as ‘dark spots’, is where areas of the skin appear darkened. It is more common in people who are exposed to the sun a lot more than others; this is because of an excess production of melanin that is produced by sun exposure.
As a result, those who are affected more by this skin condition tend to be those who sunbathe a lot, or those living in parts of the world with a great deal more sunshine than here in the UK.
How Harmful Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a harmless condition, however, the NHS found that forms of skin damage and scarring could cause emotional effects such as depression and low confidence. Additionally, there are the physical effects whereby your skin can appear patchy and discoloured in areas.
There are a variety of pigmentation types, such as:
- Melasma – Brown patches that commonly appear on the face of adults
- Chloasma – Affecting the face or abdomen of women during and after pregnancy
- Solar Lentigines – Generally found on the hands or face, or any area exposed to the sun. Also known as age spots, or liver spots.
- Ephelides (Freckles) – Tanned macules found on the skin, also classed as a form of hyperpigmentation
- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Occurs after an injury to the skin, such as acne and other skin lesions
- Dark Eye Circles – Giving the appearance of bags and dark circles under and around the eye.
As you can see, the different types of pigmentation can be varied, but equally as troublesome to those it affects. Whilst there is no proven cure to remove pigmentation effects, there are certainly ways in which it can be treated, to remove the appearance of skin discolouration.
How Can You Treat Hyperpigmentation?
It can be treated through a series of topical skin treatments; the effectiveness of which is highly dependent on the severity of the skin condition.
Additionally, those that are affected by this skin condition should always wear a high-factor sunscreen (at least SPF 30) for whenever they expose their skin to the sun, even if it’s just a walk to the shops. Here at Effortless Skin, we do advocate the use of a sunscreen 365 days a year, to give your skin the utmost protection against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays (For more information, check out our Infographic)
The most effective treatments are products that contain the following ingredients:
- Kojic acid
- Ascorbic acid
- Licorice extract
There is another particular ingredient found in products to treat Hyperpigmentation, called Hydroquinone. This has been known to cause skin irritation, so if you suffer from particularly sensitive skin, look for products with alternative ingredients. As for the listed ingredients, a variety of these can be found in all of the top 5 products featured in the list below.
What Are The Best Products To Choose?
First of all, always speak to your GP or dermatologist before purchasing any product with the aforementioned ingredients in. Additionally, the product you choose will depend on the type of pigmentation that you suffer from.
Help treat and improve the appearance of pigmented skin with the Melanolyte TX Brightening Lotion from Epionce. This lightweight lotion brightens discoloured areas and lessens the risk of future hyperpigmentation development for all skin types.
This Hydroquinone-free brightening treatment helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation with a combination of Retinol, antioxidants and mild exfoliating properties. Suitable for all skin types, this product gets to work on the most common forms of hyperpigmentation for a clearer, brighter complexion.
Ideal for skin suffering with hyperpigmentation, mild discolouration, freckles and blotchiness, the Pigment Regulator from SkinCeuticals is developed to actively reduce excess melanin production and prevent melanin deposits from reaching the surface of the skin. It can be used daily, all over the face and is suitable for all skin types.
This topical skin correcting cream from NeoStrata controls and manages melanin production to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Containing Retinol and stabilised Vitamin C, it also prevents further pigmentation from developing in the future.
This powerful brightening serum from Medik8 targets all seven types of hyperpigmentation; sun spots, sun damage, age spots, dark spots, melasma, uneven skin tone and blotchiness. An exclusive packaging design stores the serum and ensures the key ingredient, Kojic Acid, remains stable until the second before it’s released, simply by clicking the top of the lid.
If you have used any of these products and would like to share your story, please leave a comment below. We’d love to know how effective they were or if you have another product you would recommend.
(Products Updated: 13/08/2013)
Patches of Hyperpigmentation from WikiCommons