Skincare Blog

Looking to reduce Hyperpigmentation? Let Patience and Precaution prevail!

Hyperpigmentation is an increase in the pigmentation of the skin. It is usually uneven on the skin resulting in uneven skin pigmentation. Dark spots, skin pigmentation on face, hyperpigmentation on lips, hyperpigmentation around mouth all are examples of hyperpigmentation. It is one of the most common concerns faced by many people. Hyperpigmentation can affect any body part and is not only limited to the face. We will take a look at what causes hyperpigmentation and the steps we can take to reduce dark spots or patches once they have formed.

To understand what causes hyperpigmentation, we should know that pigmentation results in an increase in melanin. It is a natural pigment that colours our skin, hair and eyes. The amount of melanin one's skin produces as well as the distribution of melanocytes, is genetics. When the melanin-producing cells get affected by certain things, they produce excess melanin. A host of factors can disturb melanin production resulting in a trigger, causing hyperpigmentation. Let us check them one by one.


Causes of Hyperpigmentation

  • Sun exposure
    Sun exposure is one of the leading and major causes of hyperpigmentation. Melanin is the primary defence barrier for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. Harsh sunlight can trigger the overproduction of melanin. Constant and excessive sun exposure can distort this process, resulting in hyperpigmentation. Sun exposure can also aggravate existing pigmentation.
  • Nutritional deficiencies
    Hyperpigmentation may occur due to certain nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12 and/or iron deficiencies. [1] [2] [3]
  • Hormones
    Hormones can influence a particular kind of hyperpigmentation known as melasma or chloasma. Melasma is a condition in which large patches of hyperpigmentation develop. Hyperpigmentation may be one of the side effects of certain hormone treatments. 
  • Skin inflammation
    Hyperpigmentation resulting from any skin inflammation is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Skin inflammation such as acne, psoriasis or skin injury such as cuts, burns may make the skin dark and discoloured once the wound or condition has healed. This usually fades over with time and may or may not fade away completely.
  • Age
    Age is also a contributing factor for hyperpigmentation. The number of melanocytes decreases with age. Some experience changes in the increase of dark spots with age.
  • Medication
    Hyperpigmentation can also result due to certain illnesses. It can be triggered by certain medications too. 
  • Medical Conditions
    Skin pigmentation is associated with insulin resistance. Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is usually related to conditions associated with insulin resistance. It is a medical condition characterised by dark, velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin. Hyperpigmentation on the neck or folds of the body may be a sign of insulin resistance. [1]

Now that we know what are the causes of hyperpigmentation, let us check how we can reduce or prevent it. As seen above, situations such as hormonal changes or age are beyond our control. Hyperpigmentation in such cases can be reduced up to a certain extent although it can't be reduced fully. We can follow some methods or ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation. We will also check a few things in which we can prevent hyperpigmentation.

Please remember in the case of hyperpigmentation, patience and precautions are the most important things to consider. It is believed that hyperpigmentation can't be cured permanently. However, the use of good and effective skincare products and practising sun safety measures can help a lot to get an even skin tone.


Ways to prevent Hyperpigmentation

  • Sun Protection
    Earlier we have seen that sun exposure is a major reason for hyperpigmentation. It also darkens any existing pigmentation. Sun protection is the best and most fundamental way to prevent hyperpigmentation in the first place. Sun protection should not be limited to only summers but should be followed all around the year. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVB (minimum SPF 30). Sunscreen helps in preventing the formation of dark spots. As much as sun protection is concerned, special attention is to be given to choosing an effective sunscreen and reapplication of sunscreen when outdoors. Sun protection can help reduce the further darkening of existing hyperpigmentation.
  • Well balanced diet
    A well balanced and nutritious diet can help in the replenishment of the body thereby reducing the free radical damage.
  • Following a good CTM routine
    Regularly following a CTM routine helps to rejuvenate and replenish the skin. It helps in hydrating the skin while improving the skin barrier function.
  • Do not pick at your acne
    If you have acne-prone skin or face acne regularly, remember to not pick at your acne. Picking at the acne can increase the chances of post-inflammatory pigmentation. Let the acne heal on its own or by using the anti-acne products in your skincare routine. Anti-acne products can help reduce acne inflammation thereby reducing the chances of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
  • Exfoliating 
    Regularly exfoliating your skin helps to reveal fresh, new skin cells while getting rid of the dead skin cells. Using organic scrubs for exfoliation help in exfoliating as well as the nourishing ingredients help in keeping the skin soft and supple.
  • Using Skin Care Products for Hyperpigmentation 
    Include skincare products that have been formulated to address hyperpigmentation and are dermatologically tested. Ingredients that are antioxidant-rich help in reducing pigmentation. Products that are rich in Vitamin C help in fighting free radicals while improving the skin's texture. Including skincare products with antioxidant-rich ingredients and vitamin C can help reduce pigmentation.

Some may prefer to seek professional help to fade or reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. We will not get into the details of such treatments as they are personalized and need a consultation with a dermatologist or an esthetician.


Let us check Juicy Chemistry's range of products that help with hyperpigmentation

  1.  Juicy Chemistry Camellia & Red Raspberry Certified Natural Sunscreen
    Certified organic water-resistant sunscreen formulated with non – comedogenic cold pressed organic oils and non – nano zinc oxide. It provides broad-spectrum protection of SPF 30 against UV rays. Rich in essential fatty acids, the cold pressed oils deeply moisturize the skin and fortify the skin barrier. This sunscreen is reef safe and suitable for all skin types. 
  2. Juicy Chemistry Australian Sandalwood & Myrrh Organic Night Cream
    This rich and nourishing cream rejuvenates the skin. Pomegranate and Rosehip Seed Oils are rich in antioxidants and help even out the skin tone. The night cream is suitable for dry, mature skin.
  3. Juicy Chemistry Kakadu Plum & Pomegranate Organic Facial Oil
    This lightweight oil is nourishing and rich in vital nutrients and antioxidants. It helps improve the skin tone and texture while protecting the skin from free radicals. This face oil is suitable for all skin types however a patch test is recommended for acne prone skin.
  4. Juicy Chemistry Helichrysum & Rosehip Organic Facial Oil for Pigmentation & Scars
    This fast-absorbing oil is nourishing and helps improve skin health and skin tone. It is rich in antioxidants due to plant oils such as Rosehip and Carrot Seed Oils. The face oil is suitable for all skin types except acne-prone skin.
  5. Juicy Chemistry Kakadu Plum, Matcha & Blood Orange Organic Face Mask This face mask is rich in vital vitamins and antioxidants. Kakadu Plum is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Matcha and Hibiscus extracts are rich in antioxidants. Essential oils of Blood Orange and Grapefruit helps reduce the impact of the sun and free radical damage.
  6. Juicy Chemistry Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Organic Carrier Oil
    Rosehip oil is rich in Vitamin C and an effective antioxidant. It helps to reduce the appearance of scarring, hyper-pigmentation, and skin damage. Rosehip oil is suitable for all skin types including sensitive & acne prone skin types.
  7. Juicy Chemistry Bulgarian Rose Water Organic Toning Mist 
    A hydrating, nourishing and brightening toner for the skin. Damask Rose distillate also helps balance the skin and restore pH. The toner is suitable for all skin types.


Frequently Asked Questions on Hyperpigmentation

  1. How long does it take for hyperpigmentation to fade?
    The appearance of hyperpigmentation can be reduced, but usually can't fade away completely. With or without professional help, some hyperpigmentation can be permanent. It might take 6 to 24 months to see visible changes in hyperpigmentation.
  2. Does vitamin C help with hyperpigmentation? 
    Yes, vitamin C has exfoliating properties and it helps in removing dead skin cells. Vitamin C is also antioxidant-rich and helps to reduce free radical damage. Make sure to consistently use products that are dermatologically tested and formulated with vitamin C.
  3. Can Lemon remove dark spots?
    We do not recommend trying lemon on your face. It can irritate and disrupt the pH of the skin. 
  4. What is the main reason for pigmentation? 
    The main reason for pigmentation can be a combination of one or more triggers such as hormones, age, skin inflammation, sun exposure.
Please remember not to try any DIYs or professional tools at home. Let patience prevail in case of hyperpigmentation. 

References

https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/fade-dark-spots
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/melasma-treatment
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834696/
https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/fade-dark-spots
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/diy/treat-early