The word hyperpigmentation encapsulates anything that causes your skin to form excess pigment a deeper shade than your typical skin tone: dark spots, post-acne scars, sun spots, melasma, and — depending on who you ask — freckles. A miscellany of factors contributes to their formation and exasperation, but some of the most common ones are sun exposure, acne, genetics, pregnancy, and hormonal changes. Because hyperpigmentation can oftentimes seems unavoidable and burdensome, we asked board-certified dermatologist Y. Claire Chang, M.D., to share a treatment and prevention plan you can easily follow.
Incorporating sunscreen into your skin-care routine is the easiest possible way to prevent not only skin cancer but also hyperpigmentation. Be sure to reach for your favorite formula on a daily basis and often reapply to truly reap the dark spot-defending rewards.
Sure, you could also add retinol or a medley of exfoliating acids to your complexion regimen to help even out your skin tone. However, we prefer taking a gentler route via Vitamin Collective. Our brand-new elixir diminishes and fends off dark spots with the help of natural brightening ingredients, including, but not limited to, Vitamin C, Arbutin, and Licorice Root Extract. They work harmoniously to boost collagen production and cell turnover while blocking the transfer of pigment to skin cells and decreasing inflammation — without causing any flaking or irritation.
Vitamin Collective is also rich in antioxidants, like Astaxanthin, Sea Moss, and Resveratrol, which shield skin from environmental stressors, like UV rays, pollution, and climate changes, that can worsen and trigger the formation of hyperpigmentation.
If brightening serums just aren’t cutting it for your complexion, consider visiting your dermatologist for an in-office chemical peel. Often powered by high concentrations of glycolic acid and mandelic acid, chemical peels loosen cells on the surface of the skin to brighten and lighten pigmentation, Dr. Chang says.
You can get technical with your pursuit of dwindling your dark spots with laser treatments. Several different options are available depending on your complexion concerns and skin tone, such as Fraxel, IPL, Pico, and Clear + Brilliant. All target pigment specifically and work to rejuvenate and resurface the skin with either thermal or light energy, Dr. Chang says. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist to figure out which laser treatment is best for you, and be sure to bolster your skin barrier following each procedure with a soothing serum, such as Tonal Scenery.