Summer comes with Vitamin D, sunshine, and the ever-present smell of sun cream. However, it can also come with hyperpigmentation on your face. An uneven skin tone can make us feel self-conscious but fear not - at Poko, we're here to help.
We want to tell you all about hyperpigmentation. If you've experienced discolouration on your skin, it's clear that you have questions. Therefore, we'll tell you everything you need to know: what it is, what causes it, and how to handle it!
What is hyperpigmentation on the face?
Sometimes, you'll notice darker patches of skin on your face or body. More often than not, this is because of excess melanin production - or hyperpigmentation.
Additionally, there isn't just one type of hyperpigmentation; there are four. It's important to understand and identify which form of hyperpigmentation affects your face or body. After all, by doing this, you'll be able to get rid of it in the most effective way!
At Poko, we'll explore these four different types, as well as what causes hyperpigmentation on your face and body. These are:
- Addison's disease-related hyperpigmentation: Addison's disease often affects your adrenal glands. This, in turn, causes your adrenal glands to produce more melanin than necessary. Therefore, this can result in hyperpigmentation.
- Melasma: Melasma can often affect people who take oral contraceptives, or people who are expecting. Here, hyperpigmentation is most present on the face. Look out for dark spots on the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and upper lip.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This is, thankfully, the easiest form to treat. As its name suggests, it occurs due to skin-related traumas or injuries. For example, acne, chemical peels gone wrong, and waxing can all cause this.
- Sun damage: Generally, this occurs due to overexposure and the sun's UV rays. Sun damage can also worsen as you age. Here, look out for dark spots on your chest, face, hands, and neck.
At Poko, we understand that no two skin types are the same. Therefore, you might not be able to assign one of these causes to the hyperpigmentation on your face. In this case, it's always best to consult with a doctor or a dermatologist before embarking on a treatment plan.
Can I prevent hyperpigmentation?
Yes, you can! After all, when it comes to skincare, prevention is always better than cure.
Taking these extra precautions can help care for your skin a little bit better. Plus, you'll be able to avoid hyperpigmentation on your face and body for a little longer. To prevent hyperpigmentation, we'd recommend taking these handy steps.
- Always wear SPF. At Poko, we've always stressed the importance of wearing sun cream. By regularly using an SPF 30 or above, you can avoid sun damage. You can also add products containing zinc or Vitamin C to your skincare routine, to help boost the effects of your SPF.
- Minimise exposure to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause sun damage. This, in turn, can cause hyperpigmentation on your face and body. Therefore, we'd recommend staying out of the sun - especially in the afternoon. An umbrella, a wide-brimmed hat, or some shade can go a long way here!
- Stop touching your dark spots! You probably already know that you shouldn't really be touching your skin, anyway. Over time, touching your skin can result in signs of premature ageing. However, touching your dark spots can be just as bad. Doing this (as well as picking at spots or inflammation) can slow down the healing process, leading to darker pigment.
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By adding these steps to your daily routine, you're taking better care of your skin. This will also help avoid hyperpigmentation on your face in the long run!
Furthermore, you can also implement these steps if you already have dark spots on your skin. This will help prevent even more hyperpigmentation, minimising further damage.
How can I get rid of hyperpigmentation on my face?
As with every other skincare method, getting rid of hyperpigmentation requires time, consistency, and patience. Thankfully, you've come to the right place. We're here to help you take care of your skin and tackle dark spots - the right way!
Many suggestions often hurtle past reasonable treatment options, heading straight for skin bleaching methods. However, studies show that skin bleaching can be extremely harmful and toxic. At Poko, we believe that there's no need for that - all skin is good skin, and we should treat it as such.
Therefore, we've put together a list of healthy ways to address hyperpigmentation on your face. Remember, you don't have to sacrifice your skin's health to tackle those pesky dark spots!
Antioxidants are your friend
Many skinfluencers tout antioxidants as must-have ingredients for mature skin. However, they can do so much more. For example, Vitamins A, C, and E, niacinamide, and polyphenols can all play a role in tackling dark spots.
Plus, when used correctly, antioxidants are extremely gentle, and won't harm your skin. In fact, they could play a multi-pronged role in your skincare routine. This is because antioxidants can help with hyperpigmentation on your face while fighting free radicals.
Therefore, we'd recommend adding an antioxidant-rich serum or oil to your skincare routine. This will help tackle dark spots, while reinforcing your skin, protecting it from the elements.
Poko's Luxury Facial Oil is a great way to add antioxidants to your skincare routine. It's chock-full of Vitamins A and E, which will help tackle hyperpigmentation. Massage it in, or use it as a surface hydrator - the choice is yours!
Encouraging cell turnover is easier than you think
Another way to tackle hyperpigmentation is to encourage cell turnover. By doing this, you can see the growth of new, healthy cells. When done correctly, these new, healthy cells will replace their old, pigmented counterparts. This, in turn, leads to a more even skin tone.
However, encouraging cell turnover is mostly down to exfoliation. At Poko, we'd strongly recommend avoiding physical exfoliation, and opting for a chemical option instead. Using a serum with retinol, AHA, BHA, or glycolic acid will help gently remove dead skin cells.
This will help your skin appear brighter and smoother, giving you that summer glow throughout the year. However, these active ingredients can also help tackle hyperpigmentation, resulting in a decrease in dark spots. Therefore, when correctly used, a chemical exfoliant could be a handy tool in the fight against hyperpigmentation.
With that said, it's important to note that chemical exfoliants can often increase your skin's sun sensitivity. Therefore, after using it, make sure to double up on the SPF!
If you have sensitive skin, however, you might want to steer clear of exfoliation in both forms. Thankfully, there are other methods of supporting cell growth and turnover. Simply keeping your skin hydrated can play a role in this.
For this, we'd recommend Poko's Light Hydrating Moisturiser, infused with all-natural hydrating ingredients. This will help keep your skin moisturised even in the coldest, driest months, promoting cell growth!
To get rid of hyperpigmentation, stop picking at your face!
Earlier, we established that hyperpigmentation can stem from inflammation. Therefore, sun damage, scars, and acne breakouts can all result in hyperpigmentation and dark spots on your face and body. If this isn't bad enough, these spots can often itch terribly as they heal.
However, we'd strongly recommend that you don't pick at them at all. If you'd like to know how to get rid of hyperpigmentation on your face from acne, it all comes down to this!
Picking at these spots can cause even more inflammation, slowing down the healing process. This can also result in even more melanin production, making the spots darker and more apparent.
Due to this, it's best to leave inflamed areas alone. All you can do, before starting treatment, is keep it clean! Cleanse your face as you usually would; however, instead of immediately beginning your skincare routine, pop on a hydrocolloid bandage over the affected area.
This will help keep it clean and dry, and prevent you from picking at the spot! Once it's completely healed, you can begin your treatment routine - from antioxidants to active ingredients.
When in doubt, consult with a dermatologist
Sometimes, these hyperpigmentation treatment options might not work. After all, we all have different skin types, and our skin requires different forms of treatment. If these treatment options don't work for you, don't despair!
Instead, make an appointment with a dermatologist, highlighting your issues with hyperpigmentation. By speaking with a dermatologist, you'll be able to get a clearer idea of what's happening to your skin, and what you can do to stop it. Plus, this is a great way to look into other forms of treatment.
For example, if your hyperpigmentation is particularly extreme, the dermatologist might recommend an alternative treatment. This can involve a prescription-strength retinoid. It can also involve treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels.
Depending on the frequency of these treatments, you could see a rapid improvement in dark spots. However, these options can be far more expensive than simply adding a new serum or moisturiser to your skincare routine.
What shouldn't I do?
Before you embark on treatment for the hyperpigmentation on your face, it's important to do your research. After all, hyperpigmentation is merely excess melanin production. However, many high street hyperpigmentation treatments offer a surface-level remedy.
Instead of encouraging cell turnover, or gently addressing dark spots, these treatments often contain skin-bleaching agents. While this might seem like a helpful way to address hyperpigmentation, these creams can be extremely harmful and toxic to your body. Many of these creams contain topical steroids, mercury, and high concentrations of hydroquinone.
Together, these ingredients result in a dangerous cocktail, packaged as a hyperpigmentation treatment for your face. In fact, research shows that the effects of these ingredients could extend past your skin, and throughout your body. For example, these harmful chemicals could cause high blood pressure, localised numbness, and neurological symptoms.
Additionally, they could also increase skin sensitivity. This, in turn, significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancers. Furthermore, prolonged use of these options could actually contribute to skin discolouration, causing grey and purple spots on your skin's surface. Therefore, it's best to stay away from skin lightening products.
Instead, consider the solutions we've mentioned. These will help treat hyperpigmentation on your face and body, while also encouraging healthier skin, and better skincare habits.
The number one skin-bleaching ingredient to avoid is...
At Poko, we always want to help you make the best possible decisions regarding your skin. Although hyperpigmentation might be a bump in the road, there are safe and healthy ways to tackle this. We've warned you against skin-bleaching creams, but before making a purchase, take a moment to look out for and avoid hydroquinone.
It's also known as idrochione or quinol, so look out for those, too. Generally, hydroquinone has severe carcinogenic properties. Therefore, prolonged use could result in the risk of skin cancer.
Based on this, it's best to avoid hydroquinone in all its forms. Instead, consider a safer alternative when it comes to hyperpigmentation, like niacinamide, or Vitamin C.
Getting rid of facial hyperpigmentation can be safe!
We understand that tackling hyperpigmentation on your face can be extremely mundane. After all, it's all about consistency and checking in with your skin. Plus, results take time, so it might seem like you're not getting anywhere with the dark spots.
However, it's also about taking better care of your skin. By ensuring that your skin is moisturised, or that you're spot-treating hyperpigmentation with gentle ingredients, you're letting your skin live its best life. Plus, you're keeping it safe from harmful, toxic ingredients.
When in doubt, always consult with a dermatologist, or a skincare specialist. These individuals can point you in the right direction in relation to hyperpigmentation treatments. If you're trying to treat hyperpigmentation yourself, consider adding an active ingredient or a chemical exfoliant to your skincare routine, before trying anything else.
No matter what you do, remember the golden rule of avoiding hyperpigmentation: always wear SPF!