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Hyperpigmentation 101

Updated: May 6

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern. By understanding the underlying causes and treatment options, you can achieve a brighter, more even complexion.

A woman blocking the sun from her eyes

Seeing spots? Dark spots, that is. Well, you're not alone! Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern that can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin type, and it’s a pain to get rid of. So here's a guide to understand exactly what it is, what causes it, how to prevent it, and what steps we can take once the damage is done.

Understanding Hyperpigmentation

The different types of pigment and why they occur

Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is excessive melanin production, resulting in dark patches or spots on the skin. Melanin, the pigment that determines our skin color, can be influenced by various factors such as genetics, hormonal changes, and environmental factors.

When melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin, become overactive or stimulated, they produce an excess amount of pigment. This can be triggered by factors like prolonged sun exposure (sunspots or solar lentigines), hormonal fluctuations from birth control or pregnancy (melasma), inflammation due to acne, picking the skin, or anything that causes damage to the skin (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

Also certain medications can trigger melanin overproduction like chemotherapy, nonsteroidal anti inflammatories, etc. Another thing to consider is your skin tone. Medium to darker skin types contain more melanocytes, so when injury occurs in darker Fitzpatricks, overproduction of pigment increases.

Treatment Options for Hyperpigmentation

Chemical peels

Chemical peels involve applying a chemical solution to the skin to exfoliate and stimulate cell turnover. This helps reduce pigmentation and reveal a brighter, tighter, and more even complexion. We have various peels available, even for sensitive skin types and for all skin tones. For more information about peels, you check out our video demonstration here.

Topical treatments

Topical treatments containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, and vitamin C can help inhibit melanin production and fade existing pigmentation. Consistent use is key to achieving noticeable results.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment is highly effective in targeting stubborn pigmentation concerns. It works by emitting light that is absorbed by the skin, breaking down excess melanin and promoting skin renewal. Multiple sessions may be required for optimal results.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

SPF is your BFF

If you’re dealing with pigment then daily use of an SPF is a must. You have to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent further darkening of existing pigmentation. Also, just stay out of the sun (sorry) and chill in the shade.

Wear protective clothing like SPF clothing and always wear a hat. I always make it a priority to wear a floppy hat when I’m on vacation or just outside in general. I also sit under an umbrella when I’m at the beach or pool, and trees are my best friend on a sunny day. If you hate hyperpigmentation, then I recommend that you should do the same. You need to wear SPF even on the cloudiest of days.

Also, this is a real mind-blower, if you work from home, but you’re in front of a window, even on a cloudy day - you guessed it, SPF is your BFF.

Nail your routine

Using sunscreen everyday should be your number one priority when trying to prevent the worsening of existing pigment, and to also prevent it, but that’s not all. You need to make sure that you’re incorporating products containing ingredients like tyrosinase inhibitors, hydroquinone, retinoids, and vitamin C into your everyday skincare routine. These ingredients help to inhibit melanin production and promote skin renewal. 

Honestly, pigment is one of the hardest skin conditions to treat, so you have to be diligent and consistent about a pigment targeting homecare routine. I’ve seen so many success stories of people treating their hyperpigmentation with products like Pigment Gel Pro or Brightening Serum.

Seek professional guidance

Consult with a skincare professional or dermatologist to determine the most suitable treatment options for your specific type of hyperpigmentation and receive personalized recommendations. But remember, just like getting in shape, consistency is key when it comes to diminishing and preventing hyperpigmentation. 

If your esthetician tells you that you need to come in every 3-4 weeks for a peel and prescribes you a specific home care routine, then do it, and I promise you will see a good result. Reach out to schedule a virtual consultation with our team.

By following these tips and seeking professional treatments, you can effectively prevent, manage, and treat hyperpigmentation, achieving a brighter and more even complexion in the process.

Cheers to floppy hats & glass skin!



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