Uneven skin tone is more prevalent than you may think, and easily labelled as a common skin concern in South Africa. Hyperpigmentation is characterised by abnormal darkening or increase in the melanin production in the skin (i.e. dark marks).
Understanding the type of hyperpigmentation you may be suffering from and what actives you should be using can be confusing. Natasha Davel from Fundamentals Skincare – an affordable, high-quality vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand – breaks this down for us.
The different types
The most common type of hyperpigmentation is caused from sun damage, also known as sun spots or solar lentigines. “Sun exposure over time causes an overproduction of melanin in our skin which, as a result, shows up as distinct pigmentated patches commonly found on the chest, face, hands and backs,” explains Davel.
The second most common is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This appears on the skin in response to inflammation in the skin, which is more common in darker skin types. It is often also caused by acne and scarring.
Lastly, melasma or chloasma is the third type of pigmentation that is a condition where brown or greyish patches of pigmentation develop, often as a result of internal body triggers such as hormone changes like pregnancy and thyroid conditions. Melasma is often worsened by sun exposure in the summer and can improve in wintertime.
Fundamentals Skincare is a brand that aims to make skincare simple to understand and easy to do with its multifunctional products, seamless skincare routines and skincare bundles that have offer full routines from A to Z. “Visit our website, browse categories and shop for ‘dark marks’. All the active ingredients as well as suitable products will appear for you to shop, easily and conveniently,” says Davel.
When it comes to actives and routines, consider the below for treating all forms of pigmentation:
- Alpha arbutin manages uneven skin tone, reduces post breakout marks, manages pigmentation, and plumps and hydrates the skin.
- Vitamin C is a key ingredient in treating pigmentation. It is the strongest antioxidant and offers benefits such as reducing dark spots, and improving skin texture and radiance.
- Retinol and bakuchiol are not only great for anti-ageing, but they also work hard to fade dark marks, as well as improve hydration and texture, as well as help manage breakouts to avoid further scarring.
- Sunscreen is a no-brainer. We already know that sun exposure causes hyperpigmentation, therefore ensure you are using a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen every day.
“You are able to get rid of your hyperpigmentation from epidermal or superficial causes – all you need to do is avoid the sun and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, and reapply when outdoors every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Your maintenance treatment is just as important as your initial treatment,” says Davel.
“Fine-tune your skincare game plan to target and treat hyperpigmentation as well as other skin concerns, by considering incorporating the above actives and being consistent.”