Is your skin showing signs of sun damage in the form of big brown patches, dark spots, pigmentation marks, and freckles followed by acne pits? Well, these are all signs of hyperpigmentation that occur when there is an excess of active melanocytes in a given area making that particular patch of skin darker than the surrounding skin tone. These symptoms are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors (sun, pollutants, blue light, etc.) and may further trigger a vicious loop of degenerative skin health, causing-
- Premature signs of ageing
- Dullness and dark spots
- Skin inflammation and increased reactivity
However, with dermatologically tested and innovative solution-oriented formulations, specifically targeting hyperpigmentation and associated signs of aging, one may sit back and browse through alternatives to add to their skincare regime.
Listed below are some of the products that should be a non-negotiable routine of your everyday skincare regime, if dealing with hyperpigmentation and associated dark spots, blemishes, and age spots.
- Cleansers for pigmentationStart your day by cleansing your face with lukewarm water. Look out for the following ingredients to lighten dark spots and pigmentation marks-
- AHAs- They fundamentally work by increasing skin cell renewal and are scientifically known to treat hyperpigmentation marks, acne pits, age spots, dark spots and melasma.
- Vitamin C- Cleansers enriched with Vitamin C prevent melanin production and lightens dark spots, brown patches, and acne pits.
- Toners for pigmentation and dark spotsOwing to state-of-the-art formulations, there are toners that target specific skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and even premature wrinkling. A definite go-for product would be an alcohol-free vitamin C-enriched face toner with the following ingredients-
- Witch Hazel Extract- Reduces acne breakouts, blemishes, and scars.
- Allantoin- Helps remove fine lines, dark patches, and acne scars
- Moisturisers for hyperpigmentationGo for moisturisers enriched with skin barrier-repairing ingredients that retain moisture content and help lighten age spots and pigmentation. An effective skin radiance cream for hyperpigmentation and dark spots with the following ingredients can be helpful-
- White curcumin- Curcumin is a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It also effectively treats hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes inflamed skin by inhibiting melanin generation.
- Ceramides I, III, and VI: This combination of ceramides collectively strengthens the skin barrier, regenerates skin cells and increases the skin's defence against environmental aggressors and allergies.
- Sunscreens for age spots and PIHUsing a broad-spectrum sunscreen holds the potential to protect the skin against UV rays by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. It plays a crucial role in treating sun-induced discoloration, freckles, brown patches, and age spots.Checklist for sunscreen
- PA+++, Broad Spectrum, and SPF 50
- Water Resistant and Oxybenzone free
- Enriched with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- Enriched with ingredients like Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Eurol Bt, Vit E and Aloe vera extract
You can even opt for a Sun CC cream with similar properties that not only just give a tint but also hydrates and gives optimum sun protection.
Dark, uneven, thickened skin patches around the neck, knees, elbows and underarms are triggered by a variety of factors that include, skin disorders, sun exposure, build up of dead skin cells, excessive melanin production, and unsuitable skin care products. Another factor factor for uneven/darkened skin tone is lack of skin hydration. Dehydrated skin leads to dullness, itchiness and blotchy skin.
However, with futuristic formulations, there are skin care products that are particularly tailored to treat these stubborn dark patches of skin and help restore normal skin tone and texture.
Look for the following ingredients to attain visible change-
- Mucor miehei extract- Known to contain components like Kojic acid, gallic acid, and benzoic acid, all known as natural skin-lightening agents. It also helps in flushing out dead skin cells and regenerating new skin cells imparting a clearer, brighter, and softer skin tone.
- Pentylene glycol- It is an efficient moisturising agent and humectant that helps retain the moisture content of the skin and lessen the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation marks. Moreover, it provides a supple, firm and hydrated skin texture.
- Bellis perennis (daisy) flower extract- It effectively induces a reduction in melanocytes and thereby lightening dark spots, and acne pits and providing an even-toned and luminous skin appearance.
- Physalis angulata extract- It is rich in antioxidants and has a strong soothing impact on the skin, making it highly suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin.
- Madecassoside: It boosts the skin's normal production of hyaluronic acid, improving skin hydration and reducing free radical damage. It also helps attenuate inflammation, boosts collagen, and lightens dark spots.
1. What are some of the natural alternatives that can be used to treat hyperpigmentation marks?
If you wish to devoid any skincare formulations for treating pigmentation, you may opt for products enriched with natural ingredients such as-
- Arbutin- It is the most common yet effective skin-lightening and depigmenting ingredient derived from dried leaves of blueberries, cranberries, and pear trees and is known to mimic the function of hydroquinone
- Kojic Acid- It is an efficient plant-based acid known to be a powerful antioxidant and lighten pigmentation marks by inhibiting the synthesis of free tyrosinase.
- Vitamin E- It is a natural skin-nourishing ingredient and aids in the management of hyperpigmentation by interfering with lipid peroxidation and controlling melanocyte production
- Vitamin C- Excellent for hyperpigmentation. It bleaches the skin without causing skin burns and also inhibits melatonin production, thus imparting radiant skin and firmness by accelerating the formation of collagen and elastin and effectively lightening pigmentation marks
2. How exactly does sunscreen aid in reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots?
Sun exposure is responsible for about 80% of facial ageing. It is largely responsible for loss of skin elasticity, uneven pigmentation, dark spots, and deep wrinkles. The application of sunscreen shields us from harmful UV rays and reduces-
- Blotchiness on the face
- Improves the overall health of the skin
- Premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and dark spots
- Sunburn and blemishes
Sunscreen acts as a protective shield for elastin and collagen, the two major components responsible for maintaining the rigidity of skin, and work by upregulating the expression of an enzyme called ‘metalloproteinase, thereby reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation marks, acne, fine lines, and wrinkles.
3. Are there any effective home remedies that help treat hyperpigmentation?
Yes! Nature has all the solutions but for the best results, it is always better to follow an intensive skincare regime that includes appropriate face washes, toners, moisturisers, and sunscreens, in conjunction with natural home remedies. To reap maximum benefits, you may opt for-
- Milk and Curd- They contain a natural bleaching agent, namely, lactic acid known to remove scars, dark spots, and pigmentation marks.
- Green Tea- Contains natural amounts of ‘catechins- a rich antioxidant. It is known to remove free radicals that cause hyperpigmentation and ‘cell damage.
- Aloe vera- It contains a natural depigmenting agent called ‘aloin’ that helps treat pigmentation.