Hyperpigmentation – Causes & Cures
As we mature, our skin starts to show various signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and sagging, and invariably, hyperpigmentation. It is the latter that seems to age us the most, and we spend hours trying to conceal. According to David Khoo, Olay Principal Scientist, “age spots, freckles, and other forms of hyperpigmentation can be triggered by excessive sun exposure. If you’re worried about dark spots, it’s good to always have an umbrella or a hat with you when you step outside. Using a broad-spectrum SPF moisturiser as a daily habit will give you peace of mind, especially if you tend to forget your umbrella. Skin trauma in the form of acne, eczema and dermatitis can also increase the production of melanin, which can lead to something called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, whilst hormonal changes, such as those that arise during pregnancy can give rise to melasma, a form of hyperpigmentation known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’”.
The good news is the appearance of Hyperpigmentation can be reduced and even eliminated. According to David Khoo, “Olay research has found that Niacinamide helps reduce the transport of melanin to the skin surface and stimulate skin cell renewal whilst strengthening the skin’s barrier. Laminaria Saccharina has been found to help to shift the production of darker melanin (eumelanin) to lighter melanin (pheomelanin)”. Vitamin C, nature’s powerful antioxidant has also proven effective in helping to treat hyperpigmentation, and reduce its appearance. Reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation will take time – after all, the spots didn’t appear overnight. Some of our favourite products to help prevent and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation are:
ProX by Olay Spot Fading Essence and Brightening Repair Cream
Powered by hero ingredients Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), to help reduce the appearance of dark spots, and Laminaria Saccharina extract, to help reduce discolouration, the new clinically tested ProX by Olay Spot Fading Essence, helps to renew skin’s surface and significantly reduce the appearance of spots and skin discolouration in as little as 2 weeks (it may take longer for deeper or more prominent discolouration. I did start seeing good results in 3 weeks). ProX by Olay Spot Fading Essence 40ml RRP $69.99. To help intensively hydrate, and reduce the appearance of spots and discolouration, I love the ProX by Olay Brightening Repair Cream. The combination of Saccharina-gly-n complex helps to reduce the appearance of spots, whilst Laminaria Saccharina extract helps to reduce discolouration. My skin is left hydrated and glowing. ProX by Olay Brightening Repair Cream 48g RRP $69.99.
Paula’s Choice C25 Super Booster
I love this little pocket rocket – with 25% stabilised Vitamin C, Paula’s Choice C25 Super Booster with a patented time-release delivery system helps to target and minimise the look of stubborn dark spots, to help even out your skin tone. The highly concentrated, versatile formula can be used alone, or mixed in with your favourite serum or moisturiser. I have been using Vitamin C products for a while, and find this completely non-irritating, and very effective. My skin feels softer and smoother, and discolouration appears diminished. Cruelty-free is a bonus too. Paula’s Choice C25 Super Booster 15ml RRP $72.00.
Ella Bache NeoBright Radiance C Ampoule Set
The Ella Bache NeoBright Radiance C Ampoule Set is a clever 2 part set which mixes a Powdered Vitamin C Concentrate into a Brightening Serum, for a powerful skin brightening formula, which you use for 14 days (morning and night). As well as Pure Active Vitamin C, the formula contains other potent antioxidants including tomato, licorice, pomegranate, and white tea, which, when mixed together, helps to protect your skin from environmental aggressors which cause pigmentation, and also helps to stimulate collagen production, to fight existing pigmentation. Used in conjunction with the rest of the NeoBright range (I’m using the NeoBright Correcting Serum, and Night Cream), my skin looks more radiant, and brightness and clarity have improved over time. Ella Bache Brightening Serum 13ml, Active Vitamin C Concentrate 3.6g RRP, $59.00 for the set.
Retreatment Botanics Kakadu Brightening Serum
This multi-tasking wonder, with high-strength Vitamin C, helps to promote skin elasticity to help firm skin while it also helps to brighten skin tone. The addition of Aloe Leaf and Hyaluronic Acid help to deeply hydrate and calm skin. The Retreatment Botanics Kakadu Brightening Serum works to target hyperpigmentation, sunspots, blemishes, and unevern skin tone at the same time. As with all retreatment Botanics products, the Serum is cruelty-free, vegan, and palm oil free (as well as being Made in Australia). Retreatment Botanics Kakadu Brightening Serum 25ml RRP $89.00.
Of course the key to preventing sun-related pigmentation is to use sunscreen (SPF 30 or above) whenever you are outdoors, so remember to slip, slop, slap, seek, slide in addition to using any of the above pigmentation products, to prevent future pigmentation, and to protect your skin while using these products – some have powerful actives that mean you need to use a sunscreen. If you have spots that are darkening, or changing shape, always (always) have these checked by a dermatologist or medical professional.
Have you used any of these products? How did they work for you? Are you tempted to try any? Let us know in the comments below.