According to research, hyperpigmentation is among the most common skin conditions varying among up to 33 percent of the population.
Hyperpigmentation is a harmless skin condition that badly affects how our skin looks! However, you can get rid of it with a simple skin care routine for hyperpigmentation – which is research-proven!
Shopping for beauty products without proper knowledge will end you with no treatment and even make you lose your money! Every product will make you think this is what you need, leading to a double-minded situation! Hold on, that article will not only answer your “whys?”; but also satisfy your “hows?” and proper routine to follow backed with scientific reasons!
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Melanin pigment is responsible for skin coloration. Increased melanin production of irritated skin cells can lead to dark, patchy skin, known as hyperpigmentation. This include skin condition such as:
- Melasma- butterfly-shaped dark patches
- Age spots -oval-shaped dark spots
- Acne scars
- Freckles- flat, circular spots, tanned light brown
It is often triggered by:
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sun exposure
- Inflammation or environmental stress
Before we look into skin care routine for hyperpigmentation, let us first discuss some active ingredients for pigmented skin.
Hydroquinone is a tyrosinase inhibitor. And tyrosinase is an enzyme that forms melanin. Melanin is what gives our skin its color, which causes skin pigmentation.
Hydroquinone is a great bleaching agent which decreases the number of melanocytes present. That lightens the skin tone.
Although hydroquinone is safe to use according to many pieces of research, it can irritate your skin rarely if used prolonged daily!
Tip! Do not rely on hydroquinone-based products for more than five months at once.
A downside of hydroquinone is that it can sometimes cause rebound hyperpigmentation. That is, your pigmentation might return once you stop using it! Therefore, many dermatologists are not a big fan of hydroquinone unless you use it for specific skin concerns under supervision.
Luckily, we have natural alternatives to hydroquinone that works well too. But they are without the adverse effects of hydroquinone.
You can even consider vitamin A, vitamin C, and niacinamide instead!
Alpha arbutin is a depigmenting agent derivative of hydroquinone. It also inhibits melanin formation. However, during product use, hydroquinone may be generated.
A powerful antioxidant that also heals hyperpigmentation by targeting melanin production! Moreover, it also prevents pigmentation in the future by minimizing UV exposure and environmental stress by neutralizing free radicles.
Niacinamide is also a great lightning agent. Study proves that it can inhibit melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes beneath the skin.
Studies suggest that niacinamide can reduce pigmentation within four weeks of its use! Seems promising, right?
Kojic acid is a natural substance that comes from fungi. It inhibits tyrosinase (reduces melanin). Moreover, koji acid:
- soothes inflammation
- fights against oxidants
- UV protector
- lightens pigmentation
You might have used soy complex previously to reduce signs of aging, as it plumps up your skin and improves skin texture. Alongside this, it even fights hyperpigmentation. Study proves it is an able ingredient to treat uneven skin tone!
It works by inhibiting melanin production by decreasing the number of melanocytes by phagocytosis.
Dermatologists are confident that it is even safe for people with sensitive skin. It reduces redness, protects from UV rays, and even eliminates dark spots giving a radiant and bright look!
Until now, you know some key ingredients you should consider to cure your hyperpigmentation. Now, let’s discuss a complete routine you can follow!
WHY DOES ORDER MATTER?
Have you heard, “A little knowledge is a dangerous knowledge”? That is the best way to explain this case!
Applying products without considering the factor “what goes first” can result in no result, and in worst scenarios, can even cause skin damage by the reaction.
Correct order of skin care will not only give the best possible results but will even offer better penetration in your skin!
General tip! Try applying products from thinnest (water-based) to thickest (oil-based).
Get yourself ready skin free from hyperpigmentation is just around the corner!
Layering For Hyperpigmentation
Do you want to use more than one ingredient for hyperpigmentation? And are you stuck with the order of layering them up? We have got you covered!
So, if you want to start with the order of layering, first understand that there are mainly five categories of bases:
So, each of them layers differently! To know which product to layer, first, you should know which base it is (as they layer differently).
To layer these bases correctly, you should start with water-based products. Next, use anhydrous or oil formulations, followed by emulsions. And in the end, use suspensions.
STEP 1: CLEANSING
This step is like a foundation for every skincare routine! Cleansing your skin will remove dirt and grim, remove excess sebum, and kill microbes. That will lead to better penetration of the product you are applying in the further steps.
Oil-Based Cleanser Or Water-Based Cleanser?
Well, it depends on you! Use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and emulsify dirt. They usually work well to remove sebum, makeover, skin care actives, or sunscreens. Water-based gives you a deeper clean (removes sweat and dirt from your face). The thing that matters is how to use them effectively!
If your skin is normal to dry, the cleansers you can use include
- coconut milk
If your skin is oily, look for
- salicylic acid
Look for a complete guide on organic face washes and cleansers here!
For oil-based cleansers, dispense 1-2 pumps on a dry face and massage gently all over your face. Wash with warm water.
Tip! Avoid applying on a wet face due to the opposite polarities of water and oil.
For water-based cleansers, apply a generous amount of cleanser on a wet face and massage to form enough foam. Rinse it off thoroughly.
We offer a great variety of both types of cleanser, with organic options to add to your skincare routine!
After you have clean skin, let’s start by applying the first layer of serum!
The sole purpose of exfoliation is to remove dead cells from your skin and to bring in new cells on the topmost surface. It also deep cleanses your clogged pores and removes dirt, cleanser might have missed!
Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel
This exfoliator is eminent for hyperpigmented skin. It comes with cotton pads and a great formula comprised of mandelic acid and glycolic acid. The best part is it contains a natural alternative to hydroquinone. Hydroquinone can cause redness and rebound hyperpigmentation when a person stops its use.
Key benefits include:
- Evens out uneven skin
- Brightens the skin tone
- Diminishes dark spots
- Give a radial glow
Apply a thin layer on your face with the brush, and press gently with a cotton pad. This step is not mandatory to perform daily. Twice to thrice time a week will be enough to get the job done.
STEP 3: SERUM
Specifically for hyperpigmentation, you should consider serum with vitamin C or niacinamide. Fortunately, organic skincare offers some great products which you can surely give a shot!
Guinot NEW WHITE Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Guinot’s NEW WHITE Vitamin C Brightening Serum contains all that you need!
It has a good dose of vitamin C, which will neutralize free radicles and decrease melanin production. It wipes out dark spots and makes your complexion fairer.
This power duo of melanoxyl and pure vitamin C will give you a radiant look and is suitable for all skin types.
Biodroga MD Skin Booster Anti-Pigment Spot Serum
Biodroga MD Skin Booster Anti-Pigment Spot Serum includes ingredients such as:
- Glycolic Acid
They will give a lightening effect to your pigmented skin and gradually fade away dark spots, and even resist hyperpigmentation in the future.
Daily dab an optimum amount of serum all over your face, and soon you will see a noticeable change.
STEP 4: FACE MASK
Adding face masks to your skin care routine will give your skin a therapeutic and relaxing touch! Just relax in the meantime and let the goodness penetrate your skin.
Eminence Bright Skin Masque
For hyperpigmentation, this mask will surely stand out!
Applying it 2-3 times a week will be enough to glow your skin and evens out hyperpigmented areas. It contains natural alternatives to hydroquinone making it suitable for all skin types.
Apply on the dry face and leave it for at least 10-15 min before washing it off. You can leave it overnight too!
Tip! Instead of rubbing the mask while removing, place a washcloth soaked in warm water on your face. That will loosen it up, making it easy and gentle for you to remove!
The upcoming steps are more of a precaution than a treatment! That means these steps will not only cure your hyperpigmentation but also save you from it in the future.
STEP 5: MOISTURIZE
As mentioned previously, one of the leading causes of hyperpigmentation is inflammation. Rubbing dry skin can cause scrapes, bruises, and even cuts at their worst. Upon healing, they leave a dark spot, a sign of hyperpigmentation. To avoid this, moisturize your skin to hydrate and keep it supple.
Keeping hyperpigmentation in our point of vision, “Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 40″ definitely deserves your try!
Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 40
This chemicals-free product moisturizes your skin well and keeps it glowing and radiant. It also contains hydroquinone alternatives which will help to reduce dark spots. Apart from just hydrating, it also fortifies one from UVA and UVB rays. Moreover, it vanishes age spots and can treat premature aging and hyperpigmentation altogether.
STEP 6: SUNSCREEN
Although, we have a comprehensive post dedicated to sunscreens that cover all you need to know about them. For instance, when skin free from hyperpigmentation is your goal, sunscreens resist them getting worse.
If you have melasma, age spots, and dark spots, sunscreen protects you from sunrays when you are out. Study proves that exposure to UV rays intensify melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Here are our top-pick sunscreens for you!
GM Collin High Protection Veil SPF 50
- 100% mineral sunscreen (Titanium dioxide)
- Broad spectrum (protects against both UVA and UVB)
- SPF 50
Nelly De Vuyst SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen
This mineral sunscreen is another broad-spectrum formula that protects you from UVA and UVB. Additionally, this sunscreen is for you if your skin is sensitive, as it reduces the chance of skin burns – thanks to its aloe extracts!
The Bottom Line
So, here is a simple step by step guide to skin care routine for hyperpigmentation, in a nutshell:
- Cleanse (twice daily)
- Exfoliate (two to three times per week)
- Serum (use skin care actives at night- use natural alternates to hydroquinone, alpha arbutin, vitamin C, niacinamide, retinoids, kojic acid)
- Face masks (weekly)
- Sunscreen (morning skin care)
- Seal it with a moisturizer (for both morning and night skin care routine)
That concludes our guide to treating hyperpigmentation. You can fade pigmentation marks with a few changes to your skin care routine. Use skin care actives that lighten them up! Also, it is preferable to use skin care actives at night. And do not forget to double cleanse in the morning.