Hyperpigmentation, in layman’s terms, is the overproduction of pigment. It’s a condition that is more prevalent in darker skin tones such as people of African-American, Asian and Mediterranean descent and is caused by quite a few factors.
Pregnancy: a darker complexion that develops during pregnancy is also known as the pregnancy mask. It’s official name is melasma and it generally appears as spots on the cheeks and forehead. Because a woman’s hormones are constantly fluctuating during pregnancy there’s a likely increase in melanin production.
Acne : Once an acne lesion heels, it usually leaves behind a dirty little reminder – a blemish. The blemish it usually darker in hue and may cause a variance in skin texture.
Birth Control : Sometimes weight gain is a side effect of birth control use. In some women wide effects manifest as dark, splotchy patches on their faces.
Sun Exposure : Sun exposure exacerbates the growth of melanin. Take precautions when going out in the summer. Even a slight tan is hyerpigmentation.
The most commonly-known treatment option for hyerigmentation is hydroquinone. However, the maximum allowable percentage of hydroquinone allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is just 2% for OTC products . I’m slightly sad about the low percentage of HQ because it doesn’t always show a marked improvement of dark spot in women with darker skin tones. There is some visible improvement depending on the skin tone of the user and the age of the blemish
All isn’t lost! While HQ is a popular treatment option, you’re not without natural ingredient options that work a little slower, but are thought to produce better results such as mulberry root, kojic acid, bearberry and licorice root extract.
If you’re seeking a treatment other than a topical cream then look at getting a chemical peel like a glycolic peel – an alpha hydroxy acid that is derived from sugar cane. According to BeverlyHillsDermatology.com , chemical peels work by “ungluing” the top layer of damaged and discolored skin so it can peel away and reveal the fresh new skin beneath. By forcing the turnover of the cells, the old dull and damaged cells peel off much more quickly.” I get these every 6-8 weeks and can attest to their effectiveness.
Some product suggestions:
My mother swears by Porcelana Skin Lightening Cream for Day which contains sunscreen & Porcelana Skin Lightening Cream for Night . I’ve personally used AMBI Even & Clear Targeted Mark Minimizer & Black Opal Beauty Advanced Dual Complex Fade Gel Maximum Strength and a host of many other product to see some improvement, but given my deeper skin it became clear that I needed to enlist the help of a dermatologist to really make the difference. I’m happy to report that my hyperpigmentation is better managed today because of my doctor’s concoction of a lightening treatment that contains 8% hydroquinone.