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$10 from every order to men's mental health charity

Gotcha4Life until the end of the month.

How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation

The Secret Skincare's Cellular Repair Night Cream and Day Brightening Elixir work to help resurface and brighten skin complexion in helping to get rid of or prevent hyperpigmentation.

 

We’re taking on the extensive topic of hyperpigmentation.
 
But who wants to sit through an extensive article, right? We know what you really want to know, and really, what you need to know. We’ve broken it down into the who, why, what, and most importantly, how’s of hyperpigmentation.


Who Does Hyperpigmentation Affect?

We’re sorry to say, but no one is exempt. Absolutely anyone can fall victim to hyperpigmentation. This is by the simple biology of our skin. Some are more susceptible to the quarrels of hyperpigmentation than others. The severity of which is determined by its numerous causes.


Why Does Hyperpigmentation Happen? 

While the different types of hyperpigmentation may vary in origin, the science of why hyperpigmentation occurs stays relatively similar. Essentially, it appears due to an overproduction of melanin, stimulated by a number of different triggers.


Melanin is responsible for determining our skin and hair colour. It is an important biological feature that protects the skin from external aggressors such as UV exposure.


Melanin is produced by melanocyte cells in the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin. The first step of this melanin production is dictated by the tyrosinase enzyme. Sounds complicated now, but knowing this enzyme becomes important later when we talk about the how. Keep it in mind! 

What Exactly Is Hyperpigmentation? 

Hyperpigmentation by definition is the excessive pigmentation of the skin. Visually, it can be recognised as dark spots or patches on the skin that appear darker than that of the skin surrounding. It is a typically harmless condition, being a more aesthetic concern than anything else.

Hormones

Different hormones can stimulate melanin production to cause what is commonly known as the skin condition melasma. Melasma is a common skin condition that generally appears as patchy, brown facial pigmentation that is darker than your usual skin colour. Pregnancy and the pill are two examples of hormonal changes that can cause this kind of hyperpigmentation. As it is derived by the hormonal imbalance, it’s important to take a rounded approach to this kind of pigment, looking at both internal and topical solutions.

Skin trauma

Inflammation or trauma to the skin can cause the release of inflammatory cells. These cells stimulate melanocytes which in turn causes, you guessed it, more pigment. This appears in two forms of hyperpigmentation.

    • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) appears as dark-brown spots that appear as a result of an overproduction of melanin in response to inflammation. This can be from where breakouts previously appeared, or can even come from other types of trauma such as burns, laser treatments etc.
    • Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) shows on the skin as reddish-pink marks. They show as a result of blood vessel damage within inflamed skin. Generally, a result of picking breakouts.

Sun

The primary function of melanin is to protect the skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays that come from the sun. Exposure to UVA, UVB and even excessive heat will stimulate melanin production, so a good way to help protect your skin against increased UV exposure is to diligently apply your SPF 50+ sunscreen. It should come as no surprise that the sun is the primary source of most hyperpigmentation issues, which often show almost immediately as a tan. The uneven pigment doesn’t always reveal itself until later. It can take years for these “sun spots” to show, often called “age spots” or “liver spots”.

Genetics

This is the kind of pigmentation that is prevalent since birth but can be exacerbated by the sun such as freckles and birth marks.

Medical conditions / medication

Certain drugs and medical conditions have the potential to cause hyperpigmentation. This can include certain chemotherapy drugs, the pill, medical conditions such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Addison’s disease, Hyperthyroidism and other inflammatory diseases.

How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation?

With a good understanding of hyperpigmentation behind you, you’re probably now wondering if hyperpigmentation goes away. We’re here to tell you to breathe a sigh of relief, because, yes, yes it does. This leads us to the question that probably incentivised you to click on this journal; how do you get rid of hyperpigmentation?

Here at The Secret Skincare, we tackle hyperpigmentation from three angles

    1. Reduce on the surface
    2. Resurface
    3. Prevent for the future

#1 Reduce existing hyperpigmentation on the surface

There are specific ingredients used in skincare products, both prescription and non-prescription, that are extremely effective at fading hyperpigmentation that is showing on the surface of the skin. They are able to do so by reducing the number of melanocytes in the skin. During this process, the areas of melanin overproduction (otherwise known as hyperpigmentation) start to lighten and once this has happened, the skin will have become more uniform in appearance. See the diagram below for a visual representation of this process:

A diagram of The Secret Skincare creams working to reduce a pigment called melanin.

Ingredients to look out for in your skincare to help get rid of existing pigmentation include:

  • Vitamin C / Ascorbyl Palmitate / Ascorbic Acid
  • Kojic Acid
  • Hydroquinone
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Tranexamic Acid
  • Methimazole

The Secret utilises a variety of prescription and non-prescription brightening ingredients throughout the range. Prescription ingredients are known to see fading results the quickest due to the nature of their strength.

#2 Resurface the skin

By utilising retinoids, we are able to encourage the skins natural rejuvenation process, otherwise known as cell turnover.

Resurfacing the skin can help in removing any dead and damaged skin cells. During resurfacing, your skin can even peel in some areas where there is a build-up of any dead or damaged skin cells. Your skin cells are then replaced with younger, healthier skin cells that are clear of any abnormal pigment.

A diagram by The Secret Skincare showing the differences between slow cell turnover and rapid cell turnover of skin showing pigment.

We utilise prescription retinoids throughout our Night Cream range to resurface the skin at a far more rapid rate, meaning you see results with your pigmentation quicker.

The difference between prescription retinoids and a regular Vitamin A or retinol you can find in regular retail stores comes in its strength. It is classed as a “retinoic acid”. Retinoic acid is a form of Vitamin A that the skin can use to increase skin cell turnover. Other retinol and retinoids will often have to convert into retinoic acid before becoming effective, thus losing strength and efficacy. Prescription retinoids, on the other hand does not need to undergo this conversion process.

Retinols are not the only thing that can aid people in removing damaged skin cells. You can also use other exfoliating ingredients such as;

  • Glycolic Acid
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Enzyme exfoliants

#3 Prevent pigmentation from forming

Stop hyperpigmentation in its tracks by utilising tyrosinase inhibitor ingredients. Remember that the tyrosinase enzyme we mentioned earlier before? Maybe not, it’s a bit of a mouthful. To recap, it’s the enzyme responsible for the first stage of melanin production. We know that hyperpigmentation is a result of the overproduction of melanin. By directly targeting this enzyme with tyrosinase inhibitors, we are therefore able to prevent pigmentation from forming.

A diagram by The Secret Skincare showing the differences between slow cell turnover and rapid cell turnover of skin showing pigment.

 Tyrosinase Inhibitor ingredients to look out for:

  • Hydroquinone
  • Vitamin C / Ascorbyl Palmitate / Ascorbic Acid
  • Kojic Acid
  • Tranexamic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid

This list includes a mix of both prescription and non-prescription tyrosinase inhibitors. The Secret hyperpigmentation treatment products include many of these ingredients in their formulas. The Cellular Repair Night Cream and Day Brightening Elixir specifically contain 7 different brightening ingredients between them that help to resurface, prevent and brighten skin complexion. The two work synergistically together to remove hyperpigmentation and restore clarity to the skin with an even-toned complexion.