What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation, you may have heard this word floating around and it sounds like it’s a huge/ serious disease but in reality, it’s actually a fancy sciencey name for uneven skin tone or dark spots/marks on the skin. If you’ve ever picked a spot or had some sort of wound and it’s fully healed, you notice sometimes the area goes slightly darker than the rest of skin. That’s hyperpigmentation.
The official definition is
Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanin is overproduced in certain spots on the skin. Hyperpigmentation results in flat, darkened patches of skin that are light brown to black in colour, and can vary in size and shape. (Eucerin)
Types of Hyperpigmentation
There are many types but the most common ones are Pigment spots caused by the sun, Melasma which may affect pregnant women and Post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation which occurs after an injury has healed
Skin Care Routines for Hyperpigmentation
When dealing with this the first and most important thing you start doing is use SPF even for us brown skin beauties! Exposure to the sun causes the spots to get darker and no matter what other methods you use, without sun block you are essentially wasting your time and money.
Next, you also want to start using chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA. I have a full post on them and what they can do, please check it out here. Chemical Exfoliants remove the surface layers of skin which reveal fresh new cells.
Eventually, the dark spots will fade but there’s nothing wrong with using some kick ass products that help with the process. There are so many products that there that can exfoliate and brighten your skin, help to even out your skin tone and nourish your skin too. Since I am battling hyperpigmentation as well, I have used a lot of products and here are my tried & tested products for the job
It’s worth adding, I use toners/serums that have AHA’s in term because I find they work better for my skin type. BHA’s are well documented for HP too, please check out my previous post as it will list the differences between them.
A Note on Bleaching
Hydroquinone is a skin lightener (bleach) that some people use for hyperpigmentation. It’s very popular and effective for HP but its safety is highly questionable. Because a lot of risks associated with it, it’s actually banned from the UK although you can get purchase creams with this in shops especially the black hair shops. There are also creams that contain mercury which has adverse side effects as well.
Powerful skin-lightening creams are available on prescription from a doctor. These usually contain one or both of the following medications:
- corticosteroids (steroid medication), such as hydrocortisone
Products containing these ingredients that haven’t been prescribed by a doctor are banned in the UK, as they can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly.
Products containing other potentially harmful substances such as mercury are also banned.
Make sure you check the ingredients of any product before you buy it. Avoid it if hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury are listed in the ingredients, or if it doesn’t come with a list of ingredients.
Information from the NHS
I don’t recommend bleaching as there are so many other safer forms and products to deal with hyperpigmentation
I will do a more detailed skincare routine post that targets hyperpigmentation a bit later. I am still experimenting and discovering new products. Check out my current skincare routine here My current stash of AHA’s
I have some huge news coming soon! Make sure you stay tuned for that!
Currently sitting in bed fighting the worst flu ever, thanks Nicole!
I want to start a series looking at some of the most common skin concerns we have. For a lot of people including myself as well, the ‘look’ of our skin has had an impact somehow of our confidence levels. Now I’m in a better place where I simply do not care what people would say lol, but for the longest time I simply would not wear skirts without tights because I had a few childhood scars and marks on my legs (I had a very happy active childhood lol). It’s funny that I would happily go out without makeup on my face even though I have a few marks from spots on my face (because Sarah Fynn is not patient even though my middle is Patience lol) but when it came to bearing my legs that was a big, HUGE no no. but we have to fight for our own beauty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting clearer skin but there is something wrong with allowing that it affect our confidence!