Hyperpigmentation is a common skincare struggle and one that’s often elusive to find a solution for. Whether it shows in the form of dark spots or patches, discolouration as a result of melanin overdrive or pesky scars that refuse to fade, hyperpigmentation can haunt our skincare goals.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when pigment cells (the cells that give our skin, hair and eyes their colour) trigger melanin into overdrive. Excess pigment enters healthy skin cells and causes our natural pigment to darken. Sun exposure, hormonal changes, age, skin injuries and inflammation are the most likely culprits in triggering hyperpigmentation. The good news is that there’s a lot of amazing skincare products and treatments out there to help fade hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone.
Before we get into skincare saviours and treatments, let’s start with the one thing every dermatologist will tell you- wear sunscreen daily. Daily broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher, is easily the most important step in preventing and treating hyperpigmentation as it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Two of our top recommendations are Heliocare Gel Cream Light and Soliel Toujours Extreme UV 100% Mineral 45 SPF.
Skincare Hyperpigmentation Superheroes
Let’s start with some of the best vitamins known to treat hyperpigmentation.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) - The Mega Multitasker Of Skincare
There’s pretty much nothing niacinamide can’t do when it comes to skincare.
It’s biggest job may be strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier to shield against environmental stressors such as UV and pollution that damage healthy skin cells and cause inflammation and excess oil production, but niacinamide is also a genius when it comes to fading scars and hyperpigmentation. It reduces the transfer of melanin from pigment cells to your skin cells, which is not only helpful in treating hyperpigmentation, it’s also super powerful in combating melasma– a form of hyperpigmentation mostly caused by hormonal changes.
When it comes to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne scarring, niacinamide takes a two-pronged approach:
- Prevention. Niacinamide regulates oil production to help prevent sebum from going into overdrive and causing acne and blemishes. Its bacteria-fighting properties are also incredibly effective in unclogging pores and reducing blemishes. These actions help to prevent blemishes and acne hyperpigmentation from occurring in the first place
- Reducing inflammation. Niacinamide helps reduce the swelling and redness of acne and can lead to fewer blemishes over time.
One of our favourite niacinamide-packed serums is Allies of Skin's Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum. Enhanced with two weights of hyaluronic acid (alongside botanical hyaluronic acid), firming resveratrol, brightening niacinamide and a collagen-boosting peptide complex, this will leave your skin feeling perfectly hydrated, and looking brighter, firmer and more youthful.
Vitamin C Serums
Vitamin C is well known and loved for its antioxidant benefits. When it comes to hyperpigmentation, a daily dose of a vitamin C rich antioxidant serum works wonders in preventing the pigment cells that trigger melanin production from going into overdrive.
Vitamin C serums are highly effective as they penetrate deeply into the skin, gently lifting dead skin cells for a brighter, more even skin tone with less hyperpigmented skin. For a turbo-charged attack on hyperpigmentation, try a power combo of vitamin C + glycolic acid. One Vitamin C serum we can’t live without is Pestle & Mortar Vitamin C Phase 2 Serum. Its skin brightening, tightening and antioxidant-boosting benefits are next level.
Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is often a go-to in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Its ability to stimulate the production of collagen and skin cell turnover while exfoliating dead skin cells, makes it exceptional at encouraging new, healthy skin cells to the skin’s surface, breaking up clusters of older, darker ones that cause an uneven, dull skin tone.
Now, Onto The Acids
Making exfoliating acids part of your skincare routine will help tremendously in fading visible scarring and hyperpigmentation. When it comes to skincare products, look for holy grail Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) such as glycolic and lactic acids. They are brilliant at gently dissolving dead skin cells and stimulating cell renewal, for a much brighter, tighter complexion.
Mandelic acid is a secret weapon you need in your arsenal when it comes to preventing hyperpigmentation. It’s known to suppress Tyrosine –the enzyme that helps our bodies produce melanin– which helps your skin become less reactive to environmental stressors that trigger melanin production. If you haven’t already tried this wonder; Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigment Corrector Night Serum is supercharged with mandelic, lactic and salicylic acid along with brighteners, antioxidants and peptides to battle stubborn pigmentation, large pores, melasma and persistent breakouts.
If you’re looking for stronger weapons in the fight against hyperpigmentation, some of the most effective dermatological treatments used today are chemical peels, microneedling and low energy fractionated laser. You can also try FaceGym’s Hyaluronic Roller Dissolving Microneedling Tool for intensive cellular rejuvenation. Made up of 3,000 non-invasive dissolving microneedles filled with pro-grade Hyaluronic acid and peptides, the crystallized serum sinks deeply into the skin when it comes in contact with the moisture beneath the skin’s surface for a noticeably firmer, smoother and more youthful complexion.
One we can’t live without is the FaceGym's Clean + Lift Workout. After a consultation with a Trainer, they will determine which 'power combo' to use on your skin, glycolic, malic, or hyaluronic we have it all!
All of this is to say that hyperpigmentation is a tricky skin condition to treat. Treatment depends upon the severity of your hyperpigmentation, and everyone's experience will be unique. It’s also important to note that no treatment plan will be 100 percent perfect. The best advice is to talk to a dermatologist to find the best treatment for you.