A fresh sun-kissed complexion, sometimes even with a sprinkling of freckles, is often considered attractive in some Western countries . The media too frequently portrays this look as a reflection of an outdoorsy, active and healthy lifestyle despite the fact that everyone is well aware that a sun tanned complexion is a damaged complexion! In the countries of the Arabian Peninsula however, while we embrace all natural skin tones and colours, we really don't like hyperpigmentation and use a lot of products to hide it whenever necessary. For us, an even-toned and radiant complexion is a beautiful complexion. It reflects a glowing heart, a healthy energy, and a profound femininity, all values we hold dear. And we go to great lengths to achieve this look!
To understand how to prevent and treat hyper-pigmentation it's essential to know what it is and what causes it, what factors we can control and those we can't. With some basic knowledge you can make much better skincare choices if hyperpigmentation is an issue for you.
Hyperpigmentation happens when a specific part of your skin darkens compared to your baseline colour. It usually appears in shades of brown, some light, others darker. The colours of hyper-pigmented marks gives us an indication of how deep in the skin the cluster of melanin is and therefore how difficult or easy it will be to reduce or remove it. Melanin deposited in the upper layers of the skin (usually age spots) shows as light or dark brown marks but melanin deposited in the deeper dermal layer appears as blue-grey and is more difficult to fade.
The blue grey variety of hyper-pigmentation is much rarer than the brown type.
What is important to note though is that darker skins have more problems with hyperpigmentation than paler skins.
Darker skin types are more prone to scarring following harsh facial scrubs, cosmetic surgery, injury and infection. This is why dark-skinned acne sufferers should never pick at their skin and alpha hydroxy acid creams are preferable to skin scrubs for exfoliation.
Some skin lighteners can actually cause hyperpigmentation
Age spots, mostly due to sunlight, respond better and quicker to treatment than melasma but that is not to say that melasma cannot be significantly reduced with the right treatment of carefully chosen actives.
The actives in skin care that are considered best for fading all types of hyper-pigmentation are; ⦁ Glabridin (licorice extract) Phyto Retinol Night Cream contains this. ⦁ Niacinimide (vitamin B3) Collagenesis Day Cream and Phyto Retinol Night Cream both contain this. ⦁ Glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid). Radiance Renewal 17 & 20 are both glycolic treatments. ⦁ Vitamin C (3-ethyl Ascorbic acid) Collagnesis Day Cream and Phyto Retinol Night Cream both contain vitamin C. ⦁ Retinoids or bakuchiol found in Phyto Retinol Night Cream ⦁ Azelaic Acid ⦁ Arbutin (a derivative of hydroquinone). Hydroquinone is banned in Europe ⦁ Kojic acid
Prevention is key
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
If after 2-3 months there is no improvement in hyperpigmentation using topical creams containing actives it might be necessary to resort to in-house dermatology interventions with a follow up continous daily use of effective skin lightening products to maintain the improvements achieved by the in- house treatment.