Every year, we see new trends in skincare. There are at least two-three social media friends, who will share their latest skincare findings, some of which might seem downright dangerous. And one of the catchiest trends this year has been the glass skin concept. People with smooth, glowing, and blemish-free faces are popping up on our phone screens. And you, like many others, cannot help but wonder how someone can have such evenly pigmented skin. Is it the lighting? Could it be the camera angles? Not quite – they’ve just discovered the secret to achieving even skin pigmentation without breaking the bank. And now, you can too!

We all have different skin shades which tie to the level of pigmentation (melanin) in our skin. When you have even skin pigmentation, the shade on your skin is even throughout your face, hands, or even body. But when you have a deviation in the pigmentation, some parts appear lighter or darker than others. Sometimes, the deviation can come in the form of spots, patches, dots, etc. on your face, hands, or body. And this is what estheticians refer to as hyperpigmentation, aka more colour. People with darker skin tones are more likely to have visible hyperpigmentation because their spots or patches feature high melanin levels which take a while to fade. Even so, people with lighter skin tones can also struggle with hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation presents in different ways. But the most common types are:

a. Melasma: This type of hyperpigmentation presents as dark brown patches on the face or anywhere on the body. It is more common in women than men. Usually, it results from sun exposure but can also be a result of hormonal changes and pregnancy.

b. Sunspots: This hyperpigmentation, which is common in older adults, results from prolonged sun exposure. Thus, it often presents flat dark spots on the face, neck, hands, and other exposed areas.

c. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: When the skin suffers trauma, it heals and leaves a flat discolouration behind. This type of hyperpigmentation can result from skin injuries, acne, eczema, skincare treatments, or any trauma that causes a scar.
Hyperpigmentation is painless and should not itch, bleed, or change in size. If you notice your spots or patches are painful or seem to be mutating, you should consult a doctor.

Hyperpigmentation is a natural skin response to internal and external factors which can affect anyone. For example, prolonged sun exposure without adequate sunscreen often leads to sunspots in old age. Let’s look at some of the known hyperpigmentation causes:

a) Prolonged Sun Exposure
The melanin in your skin is a natural sunscreen. And whenever you are in the sun, the light triggers more melanin production, hence the increase in pigmentation. Besides hyperpigmentation, prolonged sun exposure also destroys the skin barrier and causes wrinkling and other adverse effects.

b) Hormonal Changes
Melasma often results from hormonal changes which affect melanin production in the presence of light. Moreover, hormonal changes can result in increased sebum production, resulting in more acne, and hence, more hyperpigmentation!

c) Ageing
Melanin production slows down with age. As such, the remaining melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) focus their production on some parts, leading to hyperpigmentation. Additionally, with reduced melanin, exposure to the sun causes more damage which, in turn, results in hyperpigmentation.

d) Skin Trauma
Skin injuries and inflammation often precede scarring which leaves dark marks on the affected areas. This trauma can result from a myriad of factors, including injury, acne, eczema, and skin treatments.

Some medications and illnesses also affect hormone and melanin production, thus resulting in hyperpigmentation devoid of the factors above. So, if you cannot relate to the above causes, you may want to assess your medical well-being.

Check out also our Blog article for “NATURAL REMEDIES FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION” and download the Beauty Secrets App to get access to our HYPERPIGMENTATION homemade recipe collection.