If you have darker patches on areas of your face or an uneven skin tone, then you’re not alone. Referred to as hyperpigmentation, approximately five million people in the US alone suffer from this skin concern which is common in all skin types and colours.
Although totally normal and usually harmless, hyperpigmentation can affect our self-esteem and confidence. Read on to discover more about hyperpigmentation, what causes it and how you can protect your skin so you can achieve a calmer and more even complexion.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Hyperpigmentation is when certain areas of the skin appear darker than the rest, making it look uneven. The term describes the excessive production of the natural pigment, melanin, which is responsible for giving the skin its colour. The three main types of hyperpigmentation are sun damage hyperpigmentation which is a direct effect of exposure to UV rays, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which is a result of acne and scarring and melasma, which is triggered by hormone changes. Hyperpigmentation is a very common skin concern but is more frequently experienced by people of colour as darker skin tones have a higher melanin content.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Many things can cause hyperpigmentation which is why it is one of the most common skin concerns. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays triggers the production of melanin as a defence mechanism which can lead to sunspots, age spots and uneven skin tone. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, commonly known as PIH, appears after the skin has experienced inflammation or trauma such as acne, eczema, allergic reaction or burns. Some people also experience this type of hyperpigmentation after chemical peels or invasive skin treatments. Patches of dark pigmentation which usually develop on the face is known as melasma. This type of hyperpigmentation is a result of internal triggers such as hormone changes during pregnancy as well as thyroid issues.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT IT?
As with most skin concerns, prevention is better and cheaper than the cure so protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays by wearing a good quality, full-spectrum sunscreen is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation. Even if you’re staying indoors or it is a cloudy day, it is still important to apply SPF 50 every day. Avoiding direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm when the sun is most powerful, wearing a hat and adding products that contain vitamin C into your skincare routine will also help to protect against hyperpigmentation. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C is known for its powerful skin-brightening and anti-ageing benefits and helps to neutralise free radicals and limit the damage caused by excessive sun exposure.
HOW TO REDUCE EXISTING HYPERPIGMENTATION
Everyone’s skin is unique so it is important to seek advice from a dermatologist so they can identify the cause of your skin’s discolouration which will help you find the most effective treatment for your skin. Although completely removing the signs of hyperpigmentation is very difficult, certain ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, niacinamide and vitamin C have been proven to help fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Making sure that your skin is properly hydrated by using a good quality moisturiser daily will also help to strengthen your skin’s barrier function. This will help to protect your skin from free radicals and help to minimise hyperpigmentation.
SAVE YOUR SKIN WITH GLIST
As sun damage is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation, it is not only important to protect your skin by wearing SPF daily, but you need to be making post-sun skincare a priority too. Our Instant Rescue Purifying mask features a rich source of natural bioactive and antioxidant ingredients such as niacinamide, which helps to reduce the skin’s melanin concentration and promotes cell turnover and allantoin, which instantly relieves skin irritations and inflammation. The perfect post-sun remedy, this calming and soothing mask provides both hydration and moisturisation to leave you with a calm, supple and revitalised complexion.