Many people suffer from some form of hyperpigmentation, whether it's sun spots, acne marks, melasma, discoloration or any dark spots on the skin, but many don't know how to treat this skin concern. Here's what you NEED to know about hyperpigmentation and dark spot removal.
In the simplest terms, hyperpigmentation is when an area of your skin darkens because of increased melanin. This darkening can come in the form of overall discoloration, splotches, or dark spots on the skin.
Dark spots on the skin and other forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by three main factors:
1) UV exposure
Perhaps the biggest cause of any skin concern, UV exposure is unsurprisingly a huge cause of dark spots on the skin. UV rays stimulate the skin to produce more melanin (creating a tan or burn), which often distributes unevenly, creating dark spots on skin. Any color is a sign of damage, not just the dark spots.
Many women develop hyperpigmentation during pregnancy, otherwise known as melasma. Skin can be influenced by hormones (for example: breakouts around your time of the month), so hormonal birth control, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, or any other shift can cause hyperpigmentation.
3) Injury to the skin
Otherwise known as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), any injury or irritation to the skin can cause discoloration.
Acne, especially moderate to severe acne, is a huge cause of PIH because it causes injury and irritation to the skin. When you get a breakout, your skin's immune system responds to the bacteria by producing excess melanin. Make sure to treat your acne and to NOT pick at your pimples to avoid acne scars and marks.
"My biggest tip for preventing hyperpigmentation is to NEVER leave the house without sun protection. Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen." –Rhonda Robb, Bioelements educator and licensed esthetician
Regularly wearing a broad spectrum SPF, like RayDefense, is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation, but don't forget about the other causes. Make sure to carefully treat your acne, never pick at your skin, and get your hormones checked at the first sign of trouble.
No! Many people think extreme measured need to be taken when dealing with hyperpigmentation, but really there are plenty of gentle methods for dark spot removal. See the below question.
Hydroquinone is a common dark spot remover, but it isn't the best option. It's a skin-bleaching agent that bleaches the dark spot, as well all the skin surrounding it. Some studies show it may even be harmful to the skin.
"These two products use current technology and safe ingredients to reduce excess pigmentation and brighten overall complexion." –Carol Byrne, Bioelements educator
Both use a breakthrough triple-action brightening blend. This innovative blend only targets the areas with excess melanin without bleaching the surrounding skin. Both products significantly brighten the skin and fight signs of photo-aging.
"Another tip for dark spot removal is to exfoliate 2-3 times per week. Measured Micrograins +is my go-to choice because it's gentle enough for all skin types and encourages cell turnover, which in turn removes the dark spots and discoloration quicker. I recommend applying Remineralist Daily Moisture after exfoliating to moisturize and protect skin." –Rhonda Robb
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