How To Tackle Hyperpigmentation

Each month, SL’s new beauty contributor Adeola Gboyega will be tackling the beauty dilemmas and issues we all suffer from. Whether its skin problems or easy make-up hacks, she’s here to help. In her inaugural column, she explains why hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin afflictions out there and what can be done to minimise its effects.

Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns. The result of an excess production of melanin, it can leave stubborn dark marks which are frustrating to treat. It's important, however, to understand what's causing your hyperpigmentation so you can treat it effectively. Whether it be hormonal changes, excessive sun exposure or the result of a bad acne breakout, there are products and treatments that can help you tackle the problem.  

Set Your Skin Up For Success

Invest in a great sunscreen. It's the most important thing you can do for your skin to help lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation and protect it from further damage. If you don’t wear anything, damaging UV light can trigger more melanin production and further darkening of the skin. If you’re wondering where to start, the Skinceuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense 50 is hard to beat. A dual action, lightweight sunscreen, it effectively protects the skin and contains potent ingredients to help brighten tone. Always use an SPF 30 or higher.

Advanced Birghtening UV Defense SPF50, £45 | Available at SkinCeuticals.co.uk

Include Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is known for its brightening effect on the skin. It works by inhibiting the abnormal melanin production that can cause hyperpigmentation, otherwise known as a tyrosinase inhibitor. With continuous use of a stable and effective Vitamin C, it can help to fade hyperpigmentation and maintain an even skin tone. It’s also a fantastic antioxidant that protects against UV damage. My pick is the C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening serum by Sunday Riley. This super concentrated serum effectively improves the appearance of hyperpigmentation, while leaving the complexion radiant and glowing. 

C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, £70 | Available at Spacenk.com

Cleanse Away The Day

Double cleansing is essential to ensure you eliminate any make-up, oil and dirt that could lead to breakouts and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Start with an oil-based cleanser such as the Freya + Bailey Heed Marula face cleanser. This is a fantastic cleanser because it cleans away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils. Then, use a gel-based cleanser such as the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, which contains salicylic acid to help prevent blemishes.

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, £18 | Available at SkinCity.co.uk

Heal The Skin With Serums 

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which is loved for its skin soothing and restorative properties. It really is a super star ingredient because it helps with the overall health of your skin, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation, inflammation and smoothing out the overall texture. The Paula’s choice 10% Niacinamide booster can be used on its own or mixed with your favourite moisturiser, too.

10% Niacinamide Booster, £41 | Available at PaulasChoice.co.uk

Fight Inflammation 

Red light therapy is a great treatment that delivers red light wavelengths into your skin cells safely. When this light is absorbed, it boosts circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells. By boosting collagen, it also encourages healing and fights post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you’re not able to make it to a clinic, try the Light Salon Boost LED Face Mask. This medical grade mask delivers the same salon-strength treatment, but in the comfort of your own home.

Boost LED Face Mask, £395 | Available at TheLight-Salon.com

Encourage Skin Renewal

Exfoliation is essential to help fade hyperpigmentation and reveal brighter, more even skin. When you use an exfoliator in conjunction with Vitamin C, you get great results. Opt for gentle exfoliating acids as opposed to manual facial scrubs, as these can cause micro tears on the skin. The Deviant Skincare Gentle Resurfacing Liquid is an exfoliating formula that combines a cocktail of acids to gently dissolve the bonds binding dull, dead cells to skin’s surface. It helps to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and is gentle enough to be used two-to-three times a week. Always ensure you wear a daily sunscreen to protect the skin when using an acid exfoliator.

Gentle Resurfacing Liquid, £34 | Available at DeviantSkincare.com

Remember The Gold Standard Ingredient

If you're looking for the one failsafe ingredient to help treat hyperpigmentation and improve uneven skin tone, retinol is it. Helping to increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, it’s known as the gold standard ingredient in skincare. Just remember to start slowly to build up your tolerance, as it can cause side effects like peeling and dryness. Don’t use it in conjunction with exfoliating acids, either, and alternate your usage on just a couple days a week. Murad’s Retinol Youth Renewal Serum is a gentle formula that visibly evens out the skin tone and boosts radiance for youthful looking skin.

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, £75 | Available at Murad.co.uk

Seek Professional Treatment 

If you feel you want to take your treatment options up a gear, consider investing in a course of chemical peels with a skincare professional. Hyperpigmentation embedded deep in the skin can be hard to treat with skincare alone, so professional options might be best. Chemical peels work to exfoliate the superficial layers of the skin and stimulate collagen production to encourage new cell growth. The result is a refreshed and youthful complexion. I recently had a NeoStrata™ ProSystem peel with Dr Amiee Vyas who specialises in cosmetic dermatology and treating skin of colour. I was always sceptical of getting a peel for fear it would burn my skin (you have to be so careful with black skin and peels), but I was blown away with the results after just one treatment. Always do your research and go with a recommended aesthetic practitioner. 

Neostrata Prosystem Peel, Price On Request, visit Dramiee.com

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