The skin problem I get the most complaints about? Hyperpigmentation. It seems that most of us are destined to deal with this problem at some point in our lives. It can come in many forms. I won’t list them all, but here are a few…Age Spots, Melasma/Mask of pregnancy, Sun damage, Freckles (Mottling), inflammation and trauma to the skin.
Hyperpigmentation happens when the skin produces too many melanocytes in particular areas on the body. Heat and Sun exposure cause these melanocytes to rise to the surface and darken the skin.
People with darker Asian, Mediterranean, or African skin tones are also more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially if they have excess sun exposure.
These skin problems have been studied for many years with various explanations and solutions. I am not going to list them all out, but I will state a few possibilities.
Typical treatments of hyperpigmentation may include hydroquinone, kojic acid , alpha hydroxyl acids , azelaic acid, ascorbic acid, tretinoin (Retinol), topical glucocorticoids, and licorice extract. To help prevent these dark spots, sunscreen may be applied.
Some people believe that certain forms of hyperpigmentation are the result of a toxic liver. Others say it is a result of the Sun damage from hours in the Sun or a natural consequence of getting older. And then we have the hormonal changes from pregnancy and menopause combined with Sun exposure and so on.
So we DO know that heat can exasperate hyperpigmentation and make it worse. We also know that Sun exposure can do this as well as tanning beds.
Certain professional peels and lasers can also make this problem worse. Heredity also plays a role as to the severity or the predisposition to have hyperpigmentation.
So are you a person that wants to treat the core of the problem or the symptom or both? That’s a loaded question I know! I am one of those that wants to treat them both. Talk about taking the hardest route possible!
I suggest you start with the symptoms and then move on to the possible core when you start to see results, or you may give up the fight all together!
Here are some suggestions…
1. Start with using products that will lighten the skin naturally. I am not a Retin-A user! I won’t bore you with the why, that is another blog post…I am just not a fan!
2. Avoid hot showers (warm is ok!) and hot baths, Jacuzzi’s etc..,
3. Avoid direct Sun on trouble areas. I say trouble areas because moderate Sun exposure is healthy for Vitamin D production as well as certain hormones and even food digestion!
4. Avoid deep peels that cause heat production. (TCA etc.,)
5. Avoid lasers that cause too much heat. I actually recommend going to a school to get your laser work done…The Instructors here know which lasers to recommend for those dealing with hyperpigmentation. It is also more affordable for the budget conscious individual.
6. Use an LED light. You can purchase a 3-way light on Amazon. The green light helps to discourage melanin activity in the skin. Not to mention numerous other benefits. Use this faithfully to lighten and brighten the skin! You may apply a lightening serum before use with added benefits.
7. Never over exfoliate the skin…This includes microderm, peels, and manual as well as chemical exfoliants that can irritate and cause further damage.
8. Use a good Sunscreen. A broad Spectrum Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Go higher for more Sun exposure (A day at the beach calls for a 50!). Allow your Sunscreen at least 15 minutes to absorb (Chemical reaction with skin to be effective takes 15 minutes!)before exposure.
9. Dust minerals over your skin for added and immediate protection. Minerals are an instant protection, as these minerals sit flat on the skin surface and deflect Sun rays instantly.
So here are some products I recommend using to fight your hyperpigmentation:
1. Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant is gentle enough to use every day (2-3 times a week is good!) and it has lactic acid in it which is a gentle and natural skin lightener.
2. Eminence Organics Bright Skin Collection is the perfect natural alternative to traditional solutions. Try these products, use them faithfully for best results!
3. I cannot praise my Aurora Hand held LED enough…With three different lights for your skin concerns, My skin has lightened and brightened. It took several weeks to see the big difference. This is a “cannot live without” product for me! I will take it on vacation! Always! (Another Blog Post!)
4. Eminence Bright Skin Serum has licorice (A known natural skin lightener). A great companion to the LED light. Dot on to cleansed skin before using your LED light, then finish your skin routine after.
5. Dr. Natura Detox. Start a regular detoxing regime to clean out your liver and colon. Just a suggestion that couldn’t hurt. There are some studies that show this helps.
In closing I would like to note that I obviously did not cover all of the causes or possible solutions for hyperpigmentation. That would take far too long. However, I want to note that my solutions are natural ones.
This is because my personal experience is that whenever I have chosen the medical route to treat this issue personally, I have seen the condition worsen. Harsh laser treatments and peels can make this problem much worse than the original problem. So try the natural route first, is my suggestion.
Stick with it, whatever regime you choose. Results will come with persistence and a consistent skin routine that addresses the problem!
Have a great week and thank you so much for reading my blog!